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Theodore Annemann 

Edited by John J. Crimmins, Jr. Illustrations by Nelson Hahne 


In offering this book of practical mental effects to the magical fraternity, we are paying tribute to the one man 
who probably did more to popularize this branch of entertainment than any other. To Ted Annemann, then, we 
bow in grateful appreciation for the many brilliant creations he left as his legacy to the world of magic. Each of 
the effects to follow were either performed by him, or were products of his editorship, for he attracted to his Jinx 
Magazine contributions from all the leading performers in recent years. In him they found a kindred soul, a man 
whose entire life was devoted to giving the audience what it wanted . . . Entertainment! We quote him: "My 
ideas and conceptions differ a great deal from those of some with whom I am acquainted. It is my theory that any 
effect to be successful must first be founded upon a simple method, and then be performed with a direct, to-the- 
point presentation. It is my contention that the moment one deviates from this straight line, he is not doing what 
a genuine magician or mind reader would do." 

The popularity of his magazine bore out the truth of his convictions. In that bible for mentalists and magicians 
live effects that will be performed for many years to come. We have taken a fair share of these remarkable 
effects, edited them, arranged them for ready reference in separate chapters, and offer them to you for your 
pleasure. You will find considerable overlapping in the various categories, but that is the nature of mental tricks. 
Not all the card tricks are in the card section, nor all the slate or envelope tricks in their respective chapters. 
Likewise, you will find book tests under various headings. We have endeavored, however, to segregate the 
effects using the dominant feature of the trick as our yardstick. Tricks of every type are included . . . those 
requiring a serious presentation or a humorous one; some arc weird, such as "Voodoo," others spooky, such as 
"Sefalaljia," but all arc solid entertainment and. as the title implies, practical. 



"There was a time, about twenty-five years ago, when the art of crystal gazing was dominant in vaudeville. 
Audiences of that era sat enthralled while the 'master mind' looked into a glass ball and gave answer after 
answer, ad nauseum, to queries written by the customers who either were actually troubled or highly interested. 
Redundant as that may sound, it's true. Magic magazines of that period abounded with advertisements clamoring 
for $100 to $200 as a reasonable return for a trunk full of gadgets plus a twenty odd paged manuscript, the 
possession of which would assure the buyer's success in the theatrical field. 

Time, like trouble in the hearts of men, marches on! The crystal ball, with handbox reader beneath; the nickle- 
plated sphere (they didn't have chromium then) with a cog wheel controlled spinning band inside; the pedestal 
prompter with its pulpit appearance; the Various electrical devices, either direct contact or induction, from carpet 
to turban; all of these means to an end have had their day. Contemporary with these were the change baskets, the 
mirror bowls, and the end-for-end ladles with which to secure the information and make it ready for material 
passage through the first mentioned devices to the omnipotent man on the stage. 

As time marched on, audiences became more acute and sensible. While mediums, fortune tellers and psychics 
still abound in private consultation shelters, the stage seer has had to find honest work. All of which finally 
brings us to a point. Question answering, plus the revelation of supposedly unknown thoughts, when kept within 
reasonable limits of time, can be a very important part of the magician's program today! And, we mean the 
program of the performer who entertains platform, social and club types of audiences. 

Audiences today 'go for' the mental type of trickery more than ever. It is more of a 'grown up' phase of magic and 
mystery, and there seems to be a greater element of wonder when the performer can reveal unknown knowledge 
or something personal about the members of his audience. 

I'm not in any way slighting magic as a whole when I say this, but I've found it to be true so far as my own work 
is concerned." 

Reprinted from Theo. Annemann's magazine. "The Jinx". 


Whose brilliant contributions to the field of Mental Magic will remain as an everlasting memorial to his genius 



Down through the ages have come but few noted billet readers, and invariably such men have been able to fool 
Kings, Premiers, Presidents, and scientists. Dr. Lynn, and Foster, the medium, were two of renown, but in the 
past 30 years one man stood out as a charlatan par excellence at the business of reading the folded slip. The man 
was Berthold Riess, born in 1841 in Posen, which was then in Prussia. Later he became known universally as 
Bert Reese and before his death in 1928 had crossed the ocean over 50 times to humbug such people as Charles 
M. Schwab, Ignace Jan Paderewski, Premiere Mussolini, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding and Thomas 

As I look through my file of articles, clips and stories about the doings of Bert Reese, I marvel at the constantly 
appearing statements that he never touched the written-on paper. This is a psychological point of importance to 
all performers who do anything of this nature. Only a trained observer can give an accurate account of every 
move, even though they may not know the method of trickery. What, to the ordinary spectator, may be the most 
natural of movements, can be the one detail that would solve the problem in recounting the experience. 

Thus Reese's actions, being psychologically different in their entirety from the technique of magic, may seem 
brazen and bare-faced to a magician not acquainted with this type of deception. These very same actions, 
blended into a routine by Reese that lead up to a startling revelation, were looked upon by his audiences as 
phenomena far removed from the realm of sleight-of-hand or trickery. It is important to remember, therefore, 
that an audience is in a different frame of mind at the time it watches a billet reading exhibition, and that all 
traditional magical gestures of sleeve rolling or of showing the hands empty are ridiculous, not to mention 
ruinous. Also keep in mind that the really successful humbugs in this line do not demonstrate from the theatrical 
stage. Rather they confine their activities to the lecture platform and to the semi-privacy of the home and 
drawing rooms where theatrical atmosphere is not present, and their demonstrations are cloaked with a scientific 
or almost religious demeanor. 

Reese did not care whether his subjects called it telepathy or spiritism, being content to let 
people credit him with whatever solution of power they deemed most fitting. Here was a good 
point as he did not antagonize any particular group but left it to their own individual credulity 
and gullibility. He ever was ready to demonstrate at any moment or place, another point 
which emphasized his benign sincerity of purpose in making use of his apparently strange 

Routine with Three Sitters: 

Illustrated is one of his routines using three sitters. Reese is sitting at the left. Borrowing a piece of writing paper, 
he tore it into slips about two by three inches. He would be standing at the time, and did the tearing while the 
others were sitting down and making ready. Five slips were put on the table, the rest of the sheet being crumpled 
up and tossed away. However, Reese really would make six slips and retain one, folded once in each direction, 
as a dummy for his own use. A detail here was that afterwards, the sitters would relate that he had used their own 
private tinted or watermarked paper rather than any of his own. Now he walked around the room while questions 
were being written to dead people on the slips and folded once each way. The folded papers were mixed together 
on the table and Reese would take his seat, the dummy billet being finger-palmed in the right hand. 

He then said, "Give one to this lady to hold," pointing to the one farthest away, and the sitter opposite him (a 
man in this case) would hand her one paper. Reese had not touched it but the pointing was being done to 

accustom all to the gesture. "Give one to this lady," he'd say next, pointing as before but to the lady next to him. 
The gesture was once more planted, and moreso when he repeated it again by having another paper given to the 
first lady. Now he would tell the gentleman to keep the remaining two, but as an after thought would say, 
"Perhaps we'd better let this lady have another." This time he would casually take the slip being passed over to 
the lady next to him, complete the six or eight-inch journey, but in that space make the switch for the dummy 
which she would get to hold. The stolen slip was dropped into his lap and opened with the left hand while, with 
his right, he'd make marks on a sheet of paper on the table. He apparently got his answer from these, and his 
scribbling served to attract the attention of the sitters while he glimpsed and then refolded the slip with his left 
hand under the table. 

Now he would extend his left hand, with finger-palmed billet, towards the lady next to him, and say, "Give me 
that paper," pointing not to the dummy but the other one. Taking this it was apparently opened and spread on the 
table. In reality the one taken was drawn back into the finger palm by the thumb, while the paper in hand was 
pushed out by the fingers from where the right fingers took hold and opened it up. Thus the one opened on the 
table was the one just glimpsed, and the one finger palmed was a fresh one. Again the "business" would be gone 
through and new marks made and a new answer given. This time a slip from the second lady would be requested 
and apparently opened. Following this, the man's paper would be taken, then back to the second lady, and lastly 
the lady next to him again which would bring the dummy back to him in return for the final slip. 

Routine for Single Sitters: 

For single sitters Reese had a slightly different routine, although practically everything he ever did was based on 
the one-ahead idea. Four or five slips would be given a man to write questions on and fold. They would be 
thrown onto the table as written and Reese would mix them a little with his finger, but in doing so would switch 
the dummy slip he had palmed for one of the papers. As the gentleman was writing his last paper, Reese would 
walk away, and in his wandering would open and read the stolen paper. The single fold each way of these papers 
made them very easy to open with one hand. As the person finished the last question, Reese would return to the 
table and ask him to put one paper in his left coat pocket, another in his right coat pocket, one in his left shoe, 
one in his right shoe, and the other perhaps inside his watch. Reese only watched to be certain into which spot 
went the dummy slip of the five. Knowing the contents of the finger palmed slip in his left hand, he would walk 
back and forth around the room and give the answer. Then he would point to one of the locations on the 
spectator's person and ask for that paper. Taking it, he would open and read it aloud, actually reading what was 
on the slip he knew and memorizing what he now saw. Folding this paper he would finger palm it in the right 
hand, and left hand would toss the other onto the table. Reese invariably smoked a cigar and the action of taking 
it from his mouth with thumb and finger of either hand served as an admirable mask for the finger palmed paper. 

He would proceed by answering the next question and so on until the last, always leaving the dummy in its 
resting place until that time. It was a regular procedure of his to have the papers placed about the person in odd 
places, such as the watch case, for instance, and my theory for this is that such places, being unusual in character, 
were always remembered by the sitter in preference to the more common spots. Afterwards, in telling about the 
ordeal, the sitter could be depended upon to swear that he had put the paper there and that Reese had answered it 
without being near the sitter or having touched the slips. 

Another angle that Reese brought into play often was in asking people to write the name of their favorite school 
teacher when a child; the name of the town or city where they were born; their auto license number; their 
telephone; their mother's maiden name; and any number of odd but personal bits of information to which he 
could have no access but which would be vividly personal enough to be remembered and talked about by the 
sitter. Such items are far better than merely having any number or any word written. 

Routine for Telephone Test: 

In many cases when Reese was going to work for someone he knew, it was a simple matter to check up on the 
person's telephone number before starting. In such a case, he would sandwich the request for a telephone number 
in among the other slips as they were being written. A steal was made of one of the others and read as already 
described. Watching the telephone number slip on the table and also the dummy, he would have them pocket or 
conceal the slips as usual. However, when they picked up the telephone slip he would have it placed in a 
pocketbook, between the pages of a notebook or in some other difficult spot. The rest of the slips would be read 
as usual but the telephone slip apparently forgotten. Then he would recall that there was another slip out, and 
merely taking the article which contained the slip and holding it to his forehead he would answer the question 
and hand it back. The sitter had been told so many things no one else could know that the idea of Reese getting 
his number would never occur to him. 

Not alone can the telephone number be used, but there are many little bits of information about a person that are 
dropped by others, and of these most anything can be used. Much information about doctors, for instance can be 
secured from a medical directory and it is possible to have the name of their college on one slip and the name of 
a professor at that college on another. The first you know, and the second request makes it logical to have the 

Routine for Groups: 

Reese, when before a group of people, also had slips written, folded and collected. He would 
absently pick them up again, hand them to another person and ask him to put the papers under 
objects around the room. Of course, the switch had been made, Reese would light his cigar 
and read the slip in his cupped hands. He would then walk around the room to the various 
spots, pick up the paper concealed at each point and apparently read it, always leaving the 
dummy until the last. In all of these variations, it is to be noticed that the effect was what 
counted. The stories that are told about these happenings afterwards are unbelievable. Like the 
famed Dr. Hooker's Rising Cards, there were so many variations of the same thing that after- 
wards, one had difficulty to remember exactly the procedure on each test, and not get them confused with each 

Some Final Remarks: 

And now I want to give a bit of information which 1 doubt has ever 

seen print. Much has been said about soft paper that will not crackle as it is furtively opened. Invariably it has 
been left to the reader to search out a soft quality and experiment. Reese used a soft paper but he took it from a 
most natural spot. At his home, especially, when giving a test for visitors, he would pick up a book, and tear out 
the blank page at the back. Pulp paper books give you this perfect soft paper, and right in front of people, too, 
without the necessity of bringing out prepared sheets. This detail alone was one of his most potent secrets. 

I haven't exhausted, by far, the many incidents and stories about Reese situations. However, I have given a 
practical and working knowledge of how he worked, and the fact that this man traveled the world over for years, 
and in the highest circles, while being looked upon by many as a competent psychic advisor, proves that such 
work is worth developing and extremely effective on the audience. As far as I know, and I keep a fairly complete 
file, nothing has been written about the man for magicians, although reams have been printed in the press about 
his marvels. Of one thing I'm sure. This type of work is more sought after, better liked, and talked about more 
than any other phase of the mystery game. And last but far from least, the monetary gain of those successful in 
this line far outdistances that of those successful in other branches of magic. But watch your presentation, and 
forget about magical movements that immediately class you as a manipulator. 



There are two essential switches of folded paper slips that everyone doing mental work should learn. The first or 
simple method is not new and is merely an exchange of folded slips. The second method, or folding switch, is 
my own and consists of reading a paper slip which is then switched for a palmed dummy as you refold it. The 
dummy is then handed to someone to hold, while the one just read is finger-palmed and retained in your hand. 

The size of the paper should be 2 1/2" x 3 1/2". Hands differ, however, and the individual should try out sizes in 
proportion with these dimensions until the right size for his own hand is found. A printer will cut up a bunch of 
these and pad them, about fifty to a pad, for a small sum. 

The folding of the slips is important. Fold them once the long way, and then twice the opposite way, i.e.: after 
the first fold you then fold the left end in to the middle after which the right end is folded over all. This will 
result in a folded slip a little narrower than the width of your second finger and long enough to be held easily, yet 
firmly, between the root and first joint of the finger. Thus, with the second finger slightly curled, the slip can be 
safely held and will be invisible from the front as long as the hand is not turned directly around. It is also 
invisible from the sides and 



from the back, too, providing the hand is not held too far (more than eight or ten inches) from your body. 

The First Method: 

With the slip in your left hand between second finger and thumb, practice pulling it back with the thumb into the 
finger-palm position, and keep at it until you can push the slip out and get it back easily and quickly. Then 
practice this with your right hand as well. 

After you have mastered this simple move, you are ready to try the first method of switching. Finger-palm one 
slip in your left hand and. with the same hand, pick up a second slip and hold it at the finger tips between your 
second finger and thumb. Slide this second slip back with your thumb until it overlaps the one that is finger- 
palmed. The thumb continues to pull this second slip even further back till the thumb tip rests on about the center 
of the finger-palmed slip; then with the help of the finger this finger-palmed slip is pushed forward into view. 
This will be found to work easily and smoothly, and it leaves the originally palmed slip in view at your finger 
tips while the second slip is now in position to be palmed. 

The right fingers can now take the switched slip which is in view and hand it to someone. Simultaneously, the 
left thumb holds the newly palmed paper in place against the second finger of the left hand until the fingers curl 
a little and secure the slip in the proper finger-palmed position. 

I repeat that this must be practiced until the switch can be done without looking at your hand at all. During such 
a switch, the hand is not held still and you are not doing a trick to switch papers, remember that! Keep the hand 
in motion, using it to gesture with and the switch will never be seen. 

The Second Method: 

The second switch is a little harder but quite useful and perfect. Finger-palm a folded billet (paper slip). Now 
take another folded billet and open it at the finger tips of both hands, just as you would do normally. Read this 
open slip and refold it. On the last fold let it come right on top of the palmed slip, and your right thumb and 
forefinger takes the two slips, as one, and holds them in full view for a second. Do not make any obvious move 
to show your left hand empty. However, you can act freer than before until you reach the party who is to receive 
the formerly palmed slip instead of the one just read. 

At this point the two slips are again taken by the left thumb and second finger, with the back of your hand 
towards the audience. The slip nearest you, on which your thumb now rests, is drawn back into your palm as you 
offer the visible (switched) slip to the person who is to hold it. He may be the person who had written on the 
original slip, so it is important that your switch be clean and perfectly executed so as not to raise any suspicion in 
his mind that the slip he gets is anything but his original one. 

Now you have two methods of switching folded paper slips, and a third method will be found on page 216 under 
the heading of the "Dollar Bill" Switch." The rest is routine work and showmanship of presentation which all 
comes under the same heading. 

You will never get enough practice on this type of work. You have to do it all without looking at your hands, 
which are always held in front of you naturally at waist level. When you read a slip and start to refold it, don't 
look down again at it but rather look at the writer while you refold the slip in a natural manner, switch it and 
return it. All these points are important and there's nothing theoretical about them. I’ve learned them all from 
hard work and application, and I’ve used them just as described for many years so I know what I'm talking about. 



It would be easy to call this a super effect. I have used it continuously and from the audience standpoint the 
effect is direct and easy to follow. 

Effect: The performer asks a spectator to write a question on a slip of paper, some question to which he would 
like an answer. The spectator does so and then folds the slip. It is initialed by another person and is held in full 
view. The performer, standing at some distance, picks up another slip of paper and proceeds to write something 
on it. As soon as he finishes, he crumples up the slip and hands it to a third person to hold for a few seconds. 

Returning to the person, who is still holding the first slip, the performer opens it and reads the 
question aloud. The third spectator now stands and reads what the performer had written, and finds that it is a 
direct answer to the question asked ! 

Preparation: Effects as simple as this will always appeal to the practical performer. The only materials needed 
are a few pieces of paper about 2" x 3" in size, a pencil and a thumb tip. Fold the papers once the long way and 
then twice the other way. Such a folded slip will fit into the thumb tip nicely. Have one in the tip and keep it in 
the right, lower vest or trouser pocket. Open out the remaining slips and have them in the left side coat pocket 
with the pencil. 

Routine: Start by selecting someone to write the query. Take the paper slips from your left coat pocket, give him 
one and replace the remaining slips in your pocket. While he writes the question, your right hand secures the tip 
on your thumb, with the slip inside of it under the ball of the thumb. When he has finished writing, you step up 

to him, hold out your left hand and ask him to refold his slip and lay it on your palm. Now bring your right hand 
up and place your thumb, with its thumb tip, right on top of the slip. Simultaneously you close the fingers of the 
left hand over the right thumb. Now pull your right thumb out of the thumb tip and out of the left fist, bringing 
with it the dummy slip which is clipped between the tips of the right thumb and first finger. The thumb tip and 
the original slip are still hidden by the closed fingers of the left hand, which casually drops to your left side. 
Without any hesitation at all, you ask someone to initial the (dummy) slip which you hold in your right hand. 
After he has done so, you ask him to take the slip and hold it high above his head for a few minutes, so that 
everyone can keep their eyes on it. This entire switch, when smoothly done, is very natural and should cause no 
suspicion on the part of anyone. 

Now as you walk away you casually put your left hand in your left coat pocket, remarking at the same time 
about what's been done so far. It only takes a second to drop the thumb tip and to open the original slip against 
those already in your pocket. Bring them out immediately with the written slip facing you. As you draw off the 
bottom slip with your right hand you read the first person's question and then return the remaining slips to your 
pocket. This time when your left hand comes out of your pocket you bring out the pencil and explain that you 
will attempt some automatic writing. 

Changing the slip over from your right hand to your left, and the pencil to 

the right, you write an appropriate answer to the person's question. Crumple up the slip and give it to someone to 

Now return to the man who is holding the dummy slip, supposedly the original one, take it from him and 
apparently read the question. Of course, you merely repeat the question you have just read. When you have 
finished, direct attention to the person holding your slip as you crumple up the dummy and pocket it. Now ask 
the person with your slip to read aloud what you wrote in answer to the question. The answer is correct, so make 
the most of your climax! 



Fifteen or sixteen years ago, A1 Baker originated an effect using a deck of cards, three pieces of paper, and a 
borrowed hat. To the audience the procedure was to have three cards selected and thought of while the pack of 
cards was in their hands. The names of these selections were written on pieces of paper, folded, and collected in 

the hat. One by one, the performer would take out the papers, and apparently by divination reveal the selected or 
thought-of cards. I first obtained the original method in 1924 and later, around 1929, added somewhat to the 
general effect by using switches so as to be able to return the slips as read. In the meanwhile, Mr. Baker 
personally had given me three or four variations for the handling of the billets. About the same time I discovered 
that a stacked deck could actually be shuffled without impairing to any great degree its subsequent use in a trick. 
Its most common application was in conjunction with a code, and Mrs. Annemann would reveal the chosen card 
from a distance when to the onlookers there wasn't a chance of my knowing it or finding it. Combining this 
principle with the three billet trick, I have been doing the trick as given below, ever since. 

Effect and Routine: Here is the working of this quite perfect mystery. Three pieces of paper are at hand and a 
deck of cards arranged in your favorite system. Hand the deck to someone to shuffle overhand. As he starts 
mixing, you cause him to hurry by asking him to put the deck face down on his left hand. Then as an 
afterthought, tell him to give the deck a complete cut and square the cards. During this you have turned away. 
Now request him to look at the top card of the deck, and then insert it any place in the center of the deck and 
square the cards well. Turning back, you hand him a piece of paper and take the deck. Ask him to write the name 
of the card he just looked at on the paper slip. Now, as you start towards another person, note the bottom or face 
card of the deck. By counting one ahead in the system, you know the first man's card which he is writing on his 
paper slip. 

Give the deck a quick riffle leaving the noted bottom card in place, and then an overhand 
shuffle bringing the bottom card to the top. The second spectator receives the deck, face 
down, on his left hand; pulls a bunch of cards from the center, notes the face card and drops 
the packet on top. Squaring the deck, he cuts them once and again you take it and give him a 
paper for writing. Picking a third person, you ask that he fan through the deck and merely 
think of any card he sees. For example, you illustrate by fanning through the cards carelessly. 
However, you watch for the card you first noted, and the one directly behind it is the card the second 
man chose ! The third man then takes the deck, thinks of a card and fans through them to see if his mentally 
selected card is there. When he locates it, he closes up the deck, lays it down and writes the name of his selection 
on the third slip of paper. 

All you have to remember are the first two cards selected. Now collect the folded papers in a borrowed hat, 
watching them as they are dropped in so you know which is the first, second, and third. Reach in with the right 
hand and, finger-palming the first slip with the second finger, bring out the third billet openly at fingertips. Look 
at the first person and little by little name his card. Just as it is acknowledged, open the visible slip, the third one, 
nod your head as you refold it and apparently return it to the writer. However, you have now found out the 
identity of the last, or mentally thought-of card; and after refolding the slip, switch it for the first paper you have 
finger-palmed and return that. (For those who can't master a finger switch the following method is very simple. 
Do it as above to the point where the third slip is refolded. Holding it in sight at left fingertips, start towards the 
writer and put it apparently in your right palm. Actually, however, finger-palm it in left hand and open your right 
hand revealing the substitute paper.) 

Return now to the hat and pick it up with the fingers of the hand, holding the palmed billet, inside and drop the 
slip into the hat. Remark that there may be some suspicion that the handling of the papers enables you to learn 
the names of the cards. Pass the hat directly to the second person and ask him to reach in and take out one of the 
two remaining slips. He is to open it and say whether or not it is his slip. If it is his slip you impressively reveal 
the name of the card while he holds the paper billet himself. If it is not his slip, ask him to hand it to the third 
person for a few minutes and then to reach into the hat again and take out the last slip which must be his. Thus 
you are able to leave the actual thought-of card for the last and get a better effect when you reveal its identity. 
This routine will leave well informed magicians baffled because you not only twist them up on the card selection 
but also in the handling of the papers as well. 

The first thought of many people will be to figure out a way of discovering the name of the third thought-of card 
without opening the billets. However, there is no way that will compare with having a spectator just think of a 
card, and that one point alone makes this trick one effect that will be talked about.* 



Most billet reading routines depend upon the assistance of several spectators, and there is a need for "reading" 
tricks wherein only one person is the subject throughout. I recall occasions when it would have been to my 
advantage had I been in a position to do a good, solid test for a single person, such as Bert Reese used to enhance 
his reputation. It is very essential that a test of this sort be personalized so that the subject can truthfully swear 
that he was given information absolutely impossible for the performer, or medium. 

* (Editor's Note: There is one excellent method of discovering this "Thought-of-card" that has 
been suggested since this effect was published in 1936. That is to use the "Mental 
Masterpiece" impression pack, which gives you a carbon-wax impression of the person's 
writing. When using this pack you will, of course, hare to reverse the process to let the person 
"just thinking" of a card write his slip first. He uses the card case as a support. The deck can 
then be dumped out for the other two selections. During this maneuver you note the carbon 
impression, and continue with the trick as outlined.) to know. Besides, when you are making someone 
think of his personal doings, he has to keep his mind on himself which is to your advantage in "working." 

Effect: Seat your subject in front of you and tell him that you want to get "impressions" of some of the ordinary 
happenings in a day of his life. If you are performing in the evening, you may use that day's happenings, 
otherwise try and make him recall the day before. 

Give him a piece of paper and ask him to write on it one single item of food he had for dinner the night before. 
As he writes this and folds the paper you have secured another. Take the "dinner" slip, giving him a fresh one, 
and put the folded billet under his right foot. On the second paper he writes one article of food he had for 
"luncheon." It is folded, exchanged for a third fresh slip, and the "luncheon" billet is placed under the subject's 
left foot. On the third paper he writes one thing he had for his "breakfast." After being folded, the performer has 
the subject hold it clenched in his fist. Then, as a last wish, the subject is asked to write down the hour he got up 
that morning, not exactly, but as close as he can remember. During this last bit of writing, the performer gets an 
ash tray and matches close at hand. 

The folded billet bearing the hour noted is openly burned, and from the smoke the time the subject arose is 
revealed. The performer next touches the subject's forehead and announces his favorite breakfast food. Then, in 
turn, he correctly divines the luncheon dish and the dinner course. He may conclude, saying, "And those are only 
minor details of your day. It probably is just as well that I do not try to get impressions of the important phases 
of your business." 

Preparation: All you need is a pad of paper about 2 1/4 inches by 3 1/2 inches in size. Tear off five or six 
sheets, folding each once the long way and then twice the opposite way. This makes just the right size billet to 
finger palm and finger switch with ease. The creased paper billets are opened and with the pad are placed in your 
side coat pocket. Have the loose papers nearest the body. One paper is left folded, as a dummy, and this is kept 
in the same pocket. 

Routine: Take out the pad and sheaf of papers. Remove the top one and give it to the subject for his "dinner" 
notation. Put the packet back in your pocket, finger palm the dummy billet, and bring out the next loose paper. 
When the spectator has refolded his paper, you take it with the hand holding the finger palmed dummy while 
giving him the fresh paper with your other hand. Then suggest putting the dinner" billet under his right foot, 
which is done, but the switch has been made and the right foot is placed on the blank dummy. (See "Billet 
Switching," page 11.) 

Now take another paper from your pocket, but keep the first ("dinner") billet finger palmed. Take the "luncheon" 
paper in exchange for a fresh slip, as before, and. after an exchange, put the "dinner" billet under the subject's 
left foot, saying that you are placing the "luncheon" paper there. The same routine is followed the third time. The 
"breakfast" paper is taken (but no fresh slip this time) and finger switched as you ask where this one should be 

placed. Then you suggest that he hold it cleanched in his fist. This is important, for afterwards he will always 
remember that he held his own paper and will not recall that you touched it. 

Your hand, with the "breakfast" billet palmed, goes into your pocket and, as you say there is one thing more — 
the arising hour, the paper is opened against the front of the papers and the pad. The pad and papers are now 
brought out and one paper is taken from underneath the top one. As you take this paper, you instantly read what 
is written on the top one which gives you the answer to the "breakfast" problem. Replace the pad and the extra 
papers in your pocket, which leaves you holding the blank page you had withdrawn. 

On the center of this blank piece draw a circle, saying that it will represent a clock face. Give it to the subject 
asking him to draw in the hands of a clock at the time he arose. During this get an ash tray and matches ready. 
He folds the paper as before, but, as you take it from him at your fingertips, unfold the first fold to make it a 
paper folded but once each way. Hold with the four loose corners to the lower right. Tear, from top down, 
through the paper a little to the right of the center crease. Put the right hand portion in front (towards spectator). 
Turn paper crosswise before you, the bottom circling towards the right, and tear through again, a little to the 
right of the center. Put the right hand portion in front. Hold at left fingertip and thumb as your right hand moves 
the ash tray in place and hands the matches to the subject. The left thumb draws back the rear portion and the 
right fingers take the pieces that remain and puts them on the tray to be burnt. The left hand drops to your pocket 
and opens out the stolen piece which, because of the folding and tearing, contains the full clock face you so 
helpfully drew in the center of the paper! 

Bring out the pad and paper while the useless bits burn and smoke, and draw out a blank piece of paper, getting a 
good look at the clock face and the time. Repocket the packet and then proceed to duplicate the clock face and 
time being thought about in your best psychic manner! 

With this acknowledged as correct, you finger-palm from your pocket the refolded "breakfast" slip as you pace 
back and forth before the subject. Now name the "breakfast" food he had. Deliberately take the paper he had held 
clenched in one fist and open it. Nod your head, refold the paper, switch and toss it on the table. Now you know 
the "luncheon" data and have that billet finger-palmed. Ask which "under foot" paper was the "luncheon" one (as 
if you can't remember). He gives you what he thinks is right, but really it is the "dinner" slip. You divine the 
"luncheon" paper, open and read the "dinner" billet, refold and switch so that you can toss the correct "luncheon" 
billet on to the table. Lastly you pick up the dummy billet and, as you say you are coming to the most important 
meal of the day, merely finger switch for the "dinner" billet which you have palmed. Then give this directly to 
the subject and ask him to place it against his forehead and imagine tasting his food. Then finish your effect and 
he has all the papers in his possession as they should be. 

The routine shouldn't take over eight or nine minutes. Once you've gotten acquainted with the setup of moves 
you'll have an impromptu stunt that is psychologically perfect. 


Effects of Karl Germain's seldom see print. A master of magic, a great showman of several decades ago, this 
gentleman believed that a trick should only be given to an intimate friend, or learned through apprenticeship. We 
feel proud, therefore, to be able to present this authentic presentation of a Germain effect. 

Effect: "Do you believe in spirits?" "I am not prepared to do a trick for you, but I am conversant with a method 
wherein we might be able to call forth the spirits to do something for us. 

"Now suppose you name some personage who resides in the world beyond, either north or south as the case may 
be. Kipling? Fine. 

"You say that you do believe in spirits? Oh, you're not sure. May I say that when 1 first saw you I had a very 
definite impression that there is a certain bond between us. I believe exactly as you do. 

"Will you take one of these little cigarette papers, examine it, and roll it into a ball. Put it on the table. Here is a 
pencil which I'm going to ask you to hold in a certain manner. I want you to take the little pellet and put it right 
on top of the pencil — stick it on the end of the point. Now hold the pencil up vertically with your very fingertips. 

"The reason for this is simple. There are no material things in the spirit world, and, when we are visited by the 
spirits, we must provide the materials for them. They need them to show their presence. 

"You named a person deceased, yes? Custer. General Custer, the man killed by the Indians — Oh, Kipling, I'm 
sorry. The man whose 'Kim' and Tommy Atkins' are unforgettable. Now it may be that you feel a very slight 
tremor about the vicinity of the pencil you hold, but please do not let that disturb you — yes — I feel as though Mr. 
Kipling is trying to get through to us — here, look at the paper and see if he hasn't left visible proof of his 
presence ! " 

The action has followed Germain's own patter, and the spectator unravels the ball of paper to find thereon the 
signature of Kipling. Germain has done this unassuming but potent effect for many people to their belief. 

Preparation: The most important secret is to be prepared to write the name in your pocket the very moment it is 
given. Germain has been known to get the little pellet all written out, rolled up and finger palmed with hands on 
the table in less than half a minute after the name was given. Like so many well done effects, getting set before 
you start the trick is the thing that makes it a real miracle. 

Writing the name on the paper with a large piece of lead, or a very small stub of pencil, is just something learned 
by practice. A good plan is to have several well known names, such as Lincoln, Washington, etc., already 
written, (copying their actual autographs) and hidden in pockets easily accessible should one happen to be called. 

The best papers are those that come in an orange colored book called "Riz-La." Two books are needed, one to 
hand to the spectator when you ask him to take out one and examine it. (During this time you write the name on 
the book in the pocket, tear off the paper, and ball it up.) 

The book in the pocket is prepared as follows: Bend one cover all the way back so that it lays against the other 
cover. Snap the attached rubber band around it this way, and tear one paper (top) almost loose. It makes it very 
easy to tear off and wad up the paper after writing on it. 

Routine: Follow Germain's routine as outlined in the patter. Hand the spectator the duplicate book of cigarette 
papers, have him select one, examine it, roll it into a ball and lay it on the table. Then hand him a pencil with 
your left hand, all the while keeping up your flow of patter. In the meantime, your right hand has been busy 
writing the chosen name on the cigarette paper in your right coat pocket, crumpling it into a ball and finger 
palming it. By the time he has laid his paper ball on the table, your right hand is resting on the table edge also. 
Help him to get the paper ball on the tip of the pencil point and to hold the pencil, as illusttated, between his 
fingers. You, of course, switch the pellet which the spectator has examined, for the one you have pinched 
between the tips of the fingers which wadded it up. This should be easy, for you pick up his pellet to show him 
how to place it on the point of the pencil . . . and at that point the switch is made. 

If the moves are fitted to the patter, given here in Germain's words, and presented with evident sincerity, the trick 
takes on an aura of great significance. 

Germain has been known to go into a simulated trance from the time the spectator started to hold the pellet on 
the pencil point, and otherwise made it evident that his mental faculties were under terrific strain. 

In short, the effect is worth cultivating. In Mr. Germain's hands it was a veritable masterpiece. 



This is "Tervil," a prophetic demon. The effect is one of prophecy, and 1 shall describe the working along with 
the effect as presented. 

Three paper billets are used. They are about 2 1/2 inches by 3 3/4 inches in size. Fold them once the long way 
and then twice the opposite way. This makes a billet just right for finger palming. Two of them are opened and 
dropped on the table. The third is in one ttouser pocket as a dummy. 

You announce that you will write a prophecy of what someone is going to think about later. Pick up one of the 
papers and write a three-word prognostication. It doesn't matter what you write. You will understand that in a 
moment. The prophecy is folded and tossed on the table. You say, "That is what I am sure is going to happen." 

The second, unfolded paper is handed to a spectator who is requested to write down any color, any number from 
1 to 99, and the name of any city in the world. 

During this interval you finger palm the dummy billet from your ttouser pocket. The spectator folds his written 
billet, being guided by the creases of the original fold, and you take the paper from him. Hand it directly to 
another person to be initialled, and this person hands it back to the first person (the writer) to hold up over his 
head so that everyone may keep their eyes on it. However, when you took it from the writer you switched it for 
the dummy, and it was the dummy that was initialled and handed back to the writer. 

As the situation stands now, your "prediction" is on the table. The spectator holds what he believes to be a record 
of his thoughts, and finger palmed you have the billet actually bearing that person's writings. 

Pick up your "prediction," saying, "I said I was going to attempt a feat of prophecy, and try to pass beyond that 
veil which hides the future. All of you must realize that though but a few minutes have passed, I did put down in 
black and white what I felt sure was going to be thought of." This patter sets your audience and serves as a 
necessary stall. At its start you have picked up the blank from the table, switched it, and have casually opened 
the paper upon which are the spectator's choices. As the patter makes the action natural you gesture with and 
glance at the open paper, all of which suffices to give you the information thereon. At once you refold and walk 
towards another person at some little distance. He stands, you saying, "I want you to take charge of my 
prophecy. It is only right that my audience check on every detail throughout." 

May I get away for a moment? This last person is given the billet you just have read. It actually is that written by 
the first man now holding a blank. But — don't make it apparent that you have opened, looked at, and closed the 
paper as you talked. The patter takes care of all angles, the audience is watching and listening to you, and it is 
perfectly natural for you to glance at your own prophecy anyway, just as long as you don’t make it decidedly 
apparent that you have to or must do it. This half minute procedure can make or break things. And don’t worry or 
be self-conscious. It may seem bold or brazen to you, but after becoming accustomed to its working you'll find 
out that even magicians won't know or remember that the paper has been opened. 

The first person still holds a blank (he's holding it high "for everybody to see" and this subtle maneuver prevents 
him from opening it) thinking it his own. The person last approached is standing with your prophecy clenched in 
his hand. It's really the paper belonging to the first man and containing his written thoughts. And you now know 
what those thoughts are. So far the procedure from the view of the audience has been direct and clean. There has 
been nothing done to confuse them, and at this point the trick is over except for the unbelievable climax. 

You take the paper from the first person. The dummy has been ditched after giving the last person your paper. 
Your hands are empty. You open this paper, look at it for a split second, and then read aloud his written 
thoughts. This is pretense for you are naming the items just gleaned from the other paper. You point directly at 
the man and ask if he believes it possible for you to have known beforehand what he was going to think. Make 
this definite and outstanding. Then have the other person read what you foretold. Approach him as he reads, take 
the paper, take a bow, pocket both, and go on with the act. 



The subtlety involved in this pellet trick offers you a cute method for switching pellets. Any long decorative pin, 
such as a corsage pin, will do very nicely, and the fact that it may be borrowed on the spot makes everything 
look very impromptu. 

Effect: You pass out several small squares of paper and at the same time borrow a corsage or hat pin from one of 
the ladies present. Have the person holding the paper pellets select one and write some short question on it. He 
then crumples the pellet into a small ball which you impale on the pin. With the pellet isolated in this fashion, the 
pin is given to someone to hold until the completion of the experiment. 

You now produce a small pad on which you scribble a note or two in an apparent effort to get an answer to the 
question through automatic writing. After due deliberation, you interpret the scribbling into a full answer to the 
question asked by the writer. The pellet is removed from the pin, opened up and the question read to verify that 
you have given the correct answer. 

Preparation: A duplicate pellet is, of course, necessary and this you have crumpled into a small ball and hold it 
concealed in the crotch of the second and third fingers of your right hand. Have a small pad in your left side coat 
pocket, as well as several loose pages of the pad. These loose sheets should be torn in half so as to offer but a 
small writing surface, and also for ease in handling as will be explained later. If you prefer, you can remove 
several pages from the pad in view of the audience and then tear them in half. However, I like to have them all 
ready in advance. A pencil should also be handy in a convenient pocket. 

Routine: Step forward with the duplicate dummy pellet palmed in your right hand as already 
described. Announce that you will try an experiment in automatic writing and request the loan 

of some lady's hat pin. While this is forthcoming, reach into your coat pocket, remove the 
loose slips and hand them to some gentleman in the audience. Drop your right hand to the side 
and, as you receive the hat pin with your left hand, the right thumb rolls the dummy pellet 
from the crotch of the two fingers into a position between the thumb and first finger tip. 
Instruct the man holding the slips to select one page and write on it some simple question. While you arc 
explaining just what you want him to do, you apparently grasp the point of the hat pin between the thumb and 
first finger tip of the right hand, which is held palm upwards, and hold the pin horizontally in front of you with 
its head retained by the thumb and first finger tips of the left hand. What you actually do, however, is to insert 
the point of the pin into the paper pellet being held between your right thumb and first finger. Now just give the 
pin a push which will impale the pellet on the pin as its point comes into view on the right side of your right 
thumb and first finger. Push the pin through the pellet until this dummy is about half way up on the pin, then 
release your left hand and hold the pin up in view as illustrated. Your right thumb and first finger will effectively 
hide the dummy. Time your patter, so that this maneuver appears but an unconscious and unimportant handling 
of the pin. As you finish your instructions, you should be motioning with your right hand and the pin in an 
unconcerned manner without causing the least suspicion. 

Now tilt your right hand so that the bent fingertips face to your left, which will bring the pin 
into a vertical position directly in front of you with its point straight up. Ask the person who 
has written the message to crumple up the paper slip into a small, tight ball and to impale it on 
the point of the hat pin which you are holding. Either have the person push his pellet down the 
pin to about half way to where you are holding the pin, or you aid him by pushing it down 
with your left first finger tip. Now turn your right hand so that the back of the hand is upwards 
and so that the pin is horizontal with the floor and pointing towards the left. Grasp the pin 
with your left thumb and forefinger directly over the written pellet; open your right thumb and 
forefinger slightly so that the dummy is visible and push this dummy along towards the head 
of the pin. If you do this as one movement, it appears as though you merely shifted the pin to 
the left hand and moved the pellet up the pin with your right finger tips. Hold it in view for a 
few seconds and then ask someone to grasp the head of the pin, remove it from your left hand 
and hold it. As he does this, the original written pellet remains between your left thumb and 

forefinger, and you immediately drop this hand to your side. So much for the switch, which is a beautiful piece 
of deception. 

Reach into your left coat pocket with the palmed pellet, open it out against the face of the pad and then remove 
the pad and pretend to mark down the vibrations and impressions you are receiving. Hold the pad with its back to 
the audience, and with the pellet opened and facing you. Read the question and make some notes on the first 
sheet of the pad, above and below the opened pellet. Drop the pad back into your pocket just as you finish with 
your reading. Roll the spectator's pellet into a small ball and bring out your hand with the paper ball pinched 
between your thumb and forefinger. Step up the spectator holding the pin and grasp it with your right fingers. As 
your right thumb and forefinger moves down the hat pin they momentarily cover the dummy pellet. Step back 
towards the original writer as your left hand apparently finishes removing the pellet which you give to him. In 
reality, however, you give him the original pellet you have palmed in your left hand. Now reach over towards the 
lady who loaned you the pin, thank her and have her pull it out of your hand. This will leave the dummy pellet in 
your right hand, which you dispose of shortly. 



Effect: The sitter is ushered into the "reading" room of the medium. He is seated behind a flat top desk or table. 
The seeker of enlightenment is seated opposite and invited to write his or her most important queries, not upon a 
pad or fileboard, but upon a plain blank business card. 

From a small box the seer takes a crystal ball. He gazes into the sphere of so many hidden mysteries, shakes his 
head, and then advises the sitter to drop his card into the now empty box, writing side down. The box is closed 
and remains in full view before the subject. 

Now, and without opening a desk drawer to get at the spirits, and without doing anything that might seem out of 
the way or uncalled for, the medium proceeds to answer question after question. As the last one is answered the 
seer opens the box, reaches in and hands the dumbfounded (?) onlooker his question card. Thereupon the 
believer leaves, thoroughly (we hope) satisfied that here, at last, is a strange man with a strange power — and for 
weeks to come he shows the card to skeptics, his story growing with each telling — which same happens to the 
mental marvel's reputation to his benefit, if not to that of his subsequent and eager patrons. 

Preparation: This effect is thoroughly practical and it can be duplicated by anyone with no practice or study. 
The secret, of course, lies in the box. At any 5 and 10 cent store or stationers you can buy what is known as a file 
cabinet. It is a little hardwood box used for filing cards, recipes, etc. 

Fake the box with a fine hacksaw and you have the "slickest" piece of mental apparatus today. Remove the lid 
from the box by taking out the small nails or screws that hold the hinge on to the box proper. This is not a hinge 
in the regular sense of the word, but two pieces of metal at each side of the cover. Now, with the fine saw, cut 
down the back of the box following the side of the box as closely as possible. When you come to the bottom lay 
the box on its face and continue cutting right through the bottom of the box, too. 

Stop when the saw blade touches the front of the box. Then duplicate this cut on the other side of the box. 

Next, with a razor blade, or sharp knife, follow the inside of the front of the box, cutting from one cut side until 
you hit the other cut side. Soon you will have two separate parts to the box. Paint the insides of the entire box 
with a dead black paint. Do this also with the cover. When dry, you are ready to complete your "crystal box." 

Place the two parts of the box together as they were before you cut them apart. Then, using 
two pins or fine nails, fix the box so the bottom and the back side will pivot. It works just like the old 
Turnover Production Box, so well known to magicians. First drive one nail into the lowermost back corner of the 
side of the box, and holding the cut out back portion of the box in place, drive the nail straight through the side 
into the edge of the cut-out bottom and back portion of the box. Turn the box over and repeat this on the other 

Now replace the lid onto the box proper. Use the same small nails that were in the hinges originally. One last 
operation and the box is ready. In the back of the box near the top, but not in the lid. drive a cut off pin. Let it 
project just a sixteenth of an inch — just enough so you can catch it with your finger-nail. 

Routine: A two and a half inch crystal just neatly fits into the box. Having it there is an excuse for the box on 
the desk. Having the sitter put his card into the box strikes him as being an afteithought — as it's supposed to. The 
minute the sitter is through writing ask him to turn it writing side down. Take the crystal from the box and gaze 
into it for a moment. Shake your head and push the box over to his side of the desk, the back of the box toward 
you. Have him drop his card inside, writing side down. As he docs this, drop lid into place and pull box over to 
the center of the desk — at the same time catching the pin with your finger-nail. With a little flip towards you the 
back and bottom of the box do a turn-over. The part that was the bottom is now the back, and the original back 
lies on the desk in back of the box which hides it from the sitter. On this "shelf" is the sitter's card, but the 
writing is now face up so as to be read easily when the crystal is held close to the box and "gazed into." 

The angles are against the sitter so he sees only the front of the box. If the writing happens to be upside down it 
is overcome by having the sitter hold out his hand. Walk over to his side of the desk, and because you are 
standing you can look over the box at the questions in the act of "reading his palm." 

With all the information gained the box is slid towards the sitter and the back flipped up into place. Everything is 
now as it was at the start, and the card is in the box face down. If one’s movements are natural and he takes his 
time for acting the part he is playing, no other piece of apparatus will duplicate the effect as neatly as this device. 



Because I am a firm believer in using simple looking items in magical effects, I have spent considerable time in 
devising an innocent looking box for switching billets. After making several boxes, this fool-proof and very 
plain-looking idea was finally built. It has proven its worth in several ways. 

I use a Schrafff s candy box, 8 1/2x4 1/2 inches and in the top, at center, is cut a small slot to take the folded 
billets. Immediately below this slot is a small secret box, pasted or taped to the top, size 3x31/2 inches. When 
billets are dropped into this slotted box they go into the secret box and not into the candy box proper. 

After the billets are collected, and the box is shaken up a bit, the lid is lifted and a spectator 
allowed to select any one inside. Thusly a billet is forced for the simple reason that all inside the box 
proper are alike. 

The drawing shows the secret box when pasted to the lid at points marked X. Billets drop into the box through 
slot A. On each side of the small box, in box proper, have the faked billets — each containing the informa- 

tion which you wish forced. I have a ribbon tied around the box in orthodox fashion, missing the slot, of course, 
and it can be passed into the audience from person to person, for the insertion of slips. After a good shaking by 
the last person who brings it to you, the lid is removed, care being taken that the inside of the lid is not shown to 
reveal the faked box, and a selection is made from those seen in the box proper. The lid then is replaced and the 
box is tossed aside. 

Note by Annemann: Many years ago we tried to work out methods of forcing which would eliminate the 
change bag and change basket so prevalent at that time but so out of keeping in the surroundings of drawing 
rooms and intimate clubs. We didn't succeed to the extent of publishing our results, and now Mr. Manning has 
provided a self-proven, practical device really worth consideration. He concluded his instructions for 
construction and use by saying: "The rest is up to the performer and the effect he might wish to do." 

The point now is that such a fine principle, with its natural dress, should not suffer by a drawn-out passing about 
only to be used for a single selection, unless, of course, that picking be for a tremendously effective stunt. 

In the case of numbers there is little choice. In fact, there is no use for them except when the box is a part of an 
effect being performed before only from ten to twenty people. No number effect within our ken deserves or 
warrants the time necessary to have written and collected the individually written billets. 

Mr. Manning mentioned, in his copy, that he was using the box for a name selection, but he didn't go any further. 
It might not be difficult to figure that he could reveal the selected cognomen in some startling way, available to 
all of us, but still we wonder as to the practicability of spending time for the ultimate choice unless the 
denouement be worthwhile. 

Our last thought upon the matter has to do with questions and their answers. In other words, 
maybe the box is useful as a force for more than one thing. This may open the minds of some readers 
to new possibilities. For instance, here’s an effect I worked out to utilize the box. Let’s call it 


The five and dime (Woolworth) emporiums sell small packets of pads in assorted colors. Suppose you were to 
pass a red pad into one part of your audience, a white pad into another section, a green pad elsewhere, and a 
yellow pad through what is left. The spectators write a query upon the top sheet, tear it off and fold, passing the 
pad and pencil on to another sitter. It really doesn't matter if they cross — it's the effect of the beginning that 

During this time the performer does a couple of quick mysteries not requiring audience participation. Then the 
box is started around for the collection of the folded billets. And during this time a couple of more mysteries are 
presented. In short, the audience members write on various colored papers, fold, and insert them in the passed 
around box. It all builds up to a watched for climax, but it does not stop the performer's presentation of numbers 
on his program. Otherwise there would be a long "stall" during the writing time and the collection period. At the 

beginning of the maneuver the master mind may say that he wishes questions for a later test. And when the box 
finally is returned to the front or platform he lets someone shake it well. 

He recalls the use of the various colored papers, and says that because of time limits he can answer but few 
queries. Thus, on account of color, he can have picked, by chance, some one spectator from each part of the 

The performer unties the box and discards the lid. The person who brought the filled box forward takes it and 
hands the performer one paper of any color. He holds it upon his open palm and answers the question. The 
assistant takes it and reads the question aloud. 

He then is asked to pick one of another color, and the same result occurs. This happens with the other two colors. 
With four questions answered the program item is concluded. 

It all is accomplished by having the box proper filled with four "forced" questions, each one duplicated upon its 
own color of paper. The utter duplicity of the affair is psychologically hidden by the fairness of the pad passing 
and box passing while the performer concerns himself with other deceptives. It is not necessary, as in other 
question answering cases, to identify the writers. The performer gives his stock answers (according to the colors 
as picked out) and the assistant then reads the papers. I hope it isn't too late to mention that the spectators are 
asked to write questions of import but not to write names or initials. 

This leaves the performer safe when the assistant reads the paper which the performer has answered, for, until 
that time, the audience does not know if he is actually giving a reply to the billet selected from amongst the 
others. Without identifying initials, the writing may be from anyone in that colored-paper sector. 

The reader must recognize this. The effect is just an effect among others in the program. It is done simply as a 
program item. No time is lost in distribution, write-up, or collection. The spectators do it all themselves. The 
performer "answers" one of each color to make it a fair selection — and the audience knows that. And he may 
even have the box proper passed to various front row observers for each choice, merely telling them to take any 
one of a color not yet chosen. 

The questions? And answers? Better people than I have written books upon the subject of answering freely given 
queries, but here you have a set-up. You not alone know the question for each color, but have an answer ready to 
recite by rote. 



We arc indebted to "The Phoenix Magazine" for this ingenious method of delivering information to the 
mindreader right under the nose of the audience. This is Mr. Manning's own method which he used for years in 
conjunction with his OM Billet Switching Box, described above. It is probably one of the cleverest ruses you'll 
ever run across. 

Let's assume that your assistant has collected a batch of questions in the OM Box, has returned to the stage and 
dumped the dummy billets into a bowl in view of the entire audience. She then walks off stage with the box, the 
lid of which still retains the original questions. 

The mindreader now attempts to set fire to the billets in the bowl, runs into a little difficulty, and calls off stage 
for the assistant to bring him some alcohol. This is immediately forthcoming, and the mindreader sprinkles some 
of the spirits into the bowl and soon has a merry fire burning. He then proceeds to give his readings to the 
satisfaction of all concerned. 

The means employed to obtain the questions he answers is simplicity itself! It all rests in the bottle, as follows: 
While the assistant is off stage, she copies off a number of the questions retained in the OM Box, in abbreviated 
form, on the back of the label. The front of the label has lettered on it in bold letters, ALCOHOL. When she has 
written down the questions, she pastes the label on a bottle of alcohol and brings it to the mindreader when he 

calls for it. As he pours the alcohol on the dummy billets in the bowl, he reads the information off of the back of 
the label through the bottle. The bottle and the alcohol acts as a magnifying glass, thus making it easy to read the 

Like most of the real, dyed-in-the-wool, actual mindreading secrets this may not strike you forcibly at first 
reading — but take our word for it, it's perfect for actual performing conditions. 



Good publicity stunts for newspapermen and offices are not easy to find. This not only fills that need but is also 
useful for impromptu tests anywhere at any time. 

Effect: Tearing a piece from any newspaper that happens to be handy, the performer has his witness look it over 
and encircle any word thereon with a pencil. The paper is folded and the witness is asked to concentrate upon the 
word he selected. The performer tears up the piece of paper into little bits, drops them into an ash tray and sets 
fire to them. As soon as the paper is burned, he reveals the chosen word correctly! There are no duplicate papers 
nor dummies, and no switching is necessary. I released this subtle secret several years ago in a different form. In 
using the newspaper, however, it can be done at a moment's notice thus making it that much more effective. 

Routine: There is no preparation necessary, although the test will work best if you are sitting at a table. Pick up 
any newspaper and tear out a piece about two by three inches. Tear it out of solid reading matter rather than an 
advertisement. Hand it to the subject and ask him to ring one word with a pencil, and then fold the paper once 
each way with the circled word on the inside. 

Take it with your left finger rips, holding the long folded side to the left with the closed corner of the doubly 
folded paper at upper left. Tear it lengthwise slightly to right of center. (Note illustration.) Place the right hand 
pieces in front of (audience side) those in the left hand, tip them to left and tear the pieces again slightly to right 
of center. Place the right hand pieces in front of the left hand pieces again, and the left thumb draws the rear 
folded section back while the paper is again torn in half. These right hand pieces are put in front of those in the 
left hand, and the right hand reaches into coat pocket for a box of matches which you hand to the subject. 

Your right hand now takes the torn pieces from the left finger tips, with the exception of the torn center which is 
being held under the ball of the left thumb, and crumples them up and drops them in a nearby ashtray. At the 

same time, your left hand, with the folded center piece hidden between thumb and finger, drops to your side or in 
this case into your lap. The subject lights the papers in the ashtray and, as he watches them burn, you open the 
stolen center piece in your lap, glance down and read the circled word. Then as the papers burn to ashes, reveal 
the word in your best dramatic fashion. 

Km» “X" under thumb 
while tearing. 

portion of eaplii. * -Abo r la the 
of oech ead every unit 
The Until* to kLm can only be die- 
covered b^dy ju|§c <eUH» f ^ 
plying to BWr sfraTniutiv# e rate 
'bate tnetrtreeu end labor 
u g*ru eff • "going concern ~ Burn 
It rate t Je would enable the rall- 
[ rot It to lietermine how tar eon* 
lecudt’Jon (could be carried to ad-| 

pajv.igr $ 

Rrtalon Ceapllcatod. 

The Iti of revltlng rt^pe and 
l » a: ust usmh •WDiAl 

nloyM an adequate rate bate would 
wet: primarily with the public utUl* 

Lehigh and X 
ICC to Sanction Sale 
mm ae ii r«« 

WASHXNOwON. Marc) 1 
Lehigh tad few Eng tan 
Co. today aila the In ten 
meroe Comnislon to at 
W.!©.000 Of 4 
Saarre^nortAge bond* 

ca* to pay StA 
S per cent bAdt which \ 
called at 106 1 
TV MlUflil would J 
and mature V 
IMS Pnovitlor. 1* made foi , 
mg fund equal to 10 per 
- • -* ^ 

Dotted line* on paper thow whet la torn out 
and read. 

The two illustrations will make the maneuvers clear, and five minutes practice will be sufficient for the 
mechanics. The secret is subtle and one of the cleverest methods of getting information I have ever known. After 
using it for a short time, you will get used to the handling and it all becomes second nature. The fact that the 
piece is tom from any paper on a moment's notice is a strong point and it is obvious to all that no duplicates 
could be employed. 



For publicity purposes, the following test will be found hard to beat. I have used it myself, just as explained 
below, with gratifying results. 

Effect: During a recent election in a city where an independent candidate was running against two regular party 
nominees, I stopped into the local newspaper office and offered to predict the winner. The editor took me up on 
it immediately, so I wrote a prediction on a slip of paper, folded it once and sealed it in an envelope. Then I 
asked the editor to sign his name across the face. The envelope was then put in the newspaper safe. Later when 
the results of the election were certain, I returned to the newspaper office, asked for the envelope, opened it 
without switching or any other underhand business and my prophecy was found to be correct! 

Preparation: All that is required for this space-grabbing effect is my "Original Faked Envelope," described on 
page 137. Two compartments of this envelope already contained the names of two of the candidates, and the 
third and regular compartment was empty when I arrived at the office. I also carried a plain, unprepared 
envelope to match the fake envelope. 

Routine: After I wrote my prediction which, of course, was the name of the third candidate, I folded the slip and 
sealed it in the unprepared envelope. Then I asked the editor to sign his name across the face. As I blotted it, I 
stopped, picked up the envelope and cmmpled it up and said that I was sorry but that I had just had a flash that 
there would be an upset. I dropped the cmmpled envelope into my side coat pocket and took out another 

slip and wrote the same prediction over again. I folded this slip, reached into my inside coat pocket for the faked 
envelope and sealed my prediction in it. I then had the editor write his signature across the face of this envelope, 
and had him put it away in his safe with the promise that he wouldn't open it till the election was certain. 

As soon as I had the results, I cut open the original crumpled envelope at the same end where I would later cut 
open the faked one and threw the slip away. Then I crumpled the envelope again and put it back in my pocket 
and hied over to the newspaper where everything was bedlam in the editorial offices; with election returns 
coming in and being totaled. When I could make myself heard I got the editor to fetch the signed envelope from 
his safe. He verified his signature and 1 cut open the envelope at the proper end and dumped my prediction into 
his palm. I crumpled up the envelope and dropped it into my pocket, switching it for the first crumpled envelope. 
While the prediction was being read, I brought out the original signed envelope and. as I was leaving, I dropped 
it on the editor's desk. 



I thought for quite a while before deciding to release this secret because I've used it a lot for press work and the 
effect is absolutely original. 

Preparation: Pick out a friend's name from the telephone book. Count down and remember its position from the 
top of the column. Make 26 one-inch card squares containing letters of the alphabet. Make 25 more all 
containing the first letter of the friend's last name. Put the 26 duplicate letter cards in your right coat pocket. Put 
the 25 different letter cards in the small watch or coin pocket at the top of this same pocket. Select two cards, one 
red and one black, whose values will add up to the required number to count down to in the book to locate the 
friend's name. Tip off this friend to the names of the two cards. (I manage to get to his phone and paste the 
names on the bottom so he won't lose them.) Take the book and dog-ear or otherwise mark the correct page so 
you can get to it quickly. So far this may not appear as much, but please visualize the following effect on those 
witnessing this test. 

Effect and Routine: Explain that you will demonstrate a test of mind-reading with the telephone book. A name 
must be selected at random so you have a set of letters. Reach into your pocket and take out the set from the 
small coin pocket. Show that they are all different and mixed and put them back. Your hand goes on down after 
leaving them in the coin pocket and stirs up the duplicates. Have some person reach in and take one out. Right 
after this you take out the top set and throw them on the table. This set, being minus the one forced, makes 
everything check. 

Now explain that an "R" (for example) has been picked, the name shall be among the "R" 
section. Pick up the telephone book and run through it, stopping at the marked page, saying, 
"Here is a page of Rs. We will use it." Turn the book down, still open, and pick up the deck of 
cards. "Now we need a number of two figures," you continue. If, for instance, the forced name 
is 36th down from the top, you force a three and a six. Use your own choice of methods here, 
but for your sake as well as mine don't let it be complicated. Use an alternating two-kind deck if you 
wish, and have two removed from anywhere in a spread. Call the cards 36, and turning the book over, point to 
the proper column and tell him to count down and mark the name. You walk away. If you'll only go right 
through this as written without dragging, it is the best method of which I know. Now you dramatically suggest 
that you would like to make a test of telepathy. Ask the person to go to the phone and call up the selected name 
in the book. This party called is to be told something about a University or committee that is checking laws of 
averages and sequences, and would he be kind enough to name two playing cards at random for the record. The 
person at the other end can hem and haw a little to build it, but does as requested, and names the two selected 

Imagine the effect created by this double test! I could rave for an hour but the information is all here, and if 
you'll think for a minute you'll feel like raving too! 



Here's a publicity stunt from my preferred list that’s a stunner. Have a few reporters in to your hotel for an 
interview and state that you will present a test of thought transference with your partner in a distant city by long 
distance phone. First they are to select a number up to 10,000, then a mixed up series of five letters. The keys on 
anyone's key ring are counted and noted down. Someone else names a color. In fact, the tests are unlimited. You 
now give one of the reporters present the medium's name and telephone number, and the reporter selected puts 
through the out-of-town call. When the medium answers, the reporter explains that he is conducting an 
experiment with you and that a series of tests have been agreed upon. The medium replies that he seems to sense 
the nature of the various tests, and describes each one of them to the satisfaction of everyone! 

The best part of this stunt is not that it is simple, but because it doesn't cost a long distance call. A box of candy, 
a couple of theatre tickets, or a couple of dollars will fix it up with any hotel switchboard operator as a joke. The 
operator, upon getting the call, merely takes it and says as usual, "I'll call you back." The call is stalled for three 
or four minutes and then put through to an adjoining room or a downstairs' phone booth. Your partner has 
listened in on the selection of tests from an adjoining room, or outside the door, and reveals them as coming 
from a distant city. This is a perfectly practical feat and I wouldn't write it so positively if I had not used it 



For many years I have used the following effect as a publicity stunt for newspaper editors, and at other times as 
an impromptu stunt after a performance in private homes. The working is far from difficult, but the effect on the 
spectators is very striking. There is something about mental stunts on a telephone that create unusual interest. 
The business of naming cards over a phone has been tossed around so much that it isn't of much value anymore, 
so my thoughts along these lines have been to make them one man tests, but still use the telephone. 

Effect: The performer is near a phone and says he will try a rather interesting feat. Selecting the host, or 
someone else to assist in the experiment, the performer asks him to think of some friend who can be reached by 
phone at this time. When the assistant signifies that he has decided upon a number to call, he is given a slip of 
paper upon which to write the friend's name, and the slip is folded several times and put under the phone. The 
performer asks for the telephone number and proceeds to call it. Upon the call being answered, the performer 
asks to speak to the person thought of, although seemingly he has had no way of knowing the person 's name! 
When the person asked for comes to the phone, the performer explains that he is at the home or office of Mr. 

is conducting a test of mental powers, and that Mr was thinking of him (the man at the other end of the 

wire) so you have called him up. He hopes he hasn't bothered the person called and thank him for his 
cooperation. The performer then hangs up the receiver and takes the paper from under the phone and returns it to 
the writer. Eight times out of ten, the person called will call back to find out what it is all about, and naturally 
learns about you being an unusual person, which is an ad in itself. 

Routine and Presentation: My method for this is a mere switch. In left coat pocket have a pad of paper about 2 
1/4 inches by 3 1/2 inches. These small pads may be obtained in the Woolworth stores. Tear off two sheets and 
fold them once the long way and then twice the short way. Open out one of these and lay it on top of the pad, 
then place the pad and the loose sheet in your right side coat pocket. Put the folded dummy billet in the left 
pocket, ready to be palmed out. 

Generally, try to select a person as the subject, who is sitting a little way from the phone. Take out the pad with 
the separate top slip and give it to your assistant together with a pencil. Ask him to write the name he has 
decided upon, and then fold the slip. While he is doing this, you replace the pad in your left coat pocket, and. as 
your hand comes out, finger palm the dummy slip with the second finger. Take back the pencil with your right 
hand and the folded slip with your left. As you move to the telephone, pull back the written slip with your thumb 
and push forward the dummy slip to be dropped under the phone. Your left hand goes directly to the pocket as 
you ask the person for the telephone number. Always ask the person first if he knows the number, and then ask 
for it. This gives you a few seconds longer to stall, while your left hand opens the slip against the pad. 

Take out the pad, pull off the top sheet from under the open slip, and in doing this you get a glimpse of the name. 
The pad and open slip are replaced in the pocket, and on the blank sheet you write the telephone number. Now 
sit down with the number before you and make the call. There is a lot of time now to drop your hand to your 
pocket and refold the slip and finger palm it again. Then at the finish, your right hand moves the phone, as your 
left picks up the slip and makes the switch again as it is returned to the person who wrote it. 

You will find a finger switch here the most practical, and you can master it with but a few hours' practice. 

Although this may sound simple, it has a stunning effect upon those watching because it is different and unusual. 



Do you happen to have a set of the old card from the pocket indexes among your souvenirs? If you have, then 
you have the makings of a stunning press and drawing room stunt. 

Fill the indexes, not with the usual cards, but with folded slips of paper on which are written the names of the 53 

cards in the deck, like this: "The stranger selected will think of the " Fifty-three of these papers are indexed, 

and the containers are put in your pockets, one in each pants pocket. Now, when you are at someone's home or in 
a news office, write a prophecy, fold it and apparently drop it into a hat or a bowl, but finger-palm it out. Ask the 
editor to think of some friend and to call him on the phone, this person, who is unknown to you, is asked to think 
for a few moments and then name any card that comes to his mind. You immediately request the editor, or the 
person making the call, to ask the stranger if he had any particular reason for picking that card or if it was just a 
blind selection. This stall allows you a full twenty or thirty seconds during which time you have pocketed the 
first slip and have secured and finger-palmed the correct paper from the index in your pocket. Now pick up the 
hat with that hand, fingers inside, and drop the finger-palmed slip to the bottom of the hat. Request the editor to 
take the slip out of the hat, open it and read your prediction to the person at the other end of the wire. Imagine 
that person's feelings! 

Having people phone their own friends, all strangers to you, is what makes this perfect. 



Sealed letter tests have come and gone, but in this case we have one which differs enough in effect to make it 
appear new in the eyes of the sitter. 

Effect: Only one envelope and sheet of note paper is in use at any time, and the effect is presented as a 
combination of psychometry and automatic writing. The sitter (who doesn't sit in this test) is handed a sheet of 
note paper and a letter envelope. He writes a question about something concerning himself personally, folds the 
paper several times, and seals it securely in the envelope. Taking the envelope and pencil in his otherwise empty 
hands, the medium feels it, stares into space, grunts, foams at the mouth, and otherwise becomes very psychic. 
He asks the sitter to take it back, hold it to his forehead and mentally think the question over. The medium grabs 
the envelope almost immediately, and scribbles across it an impression that turns out to be an answer to the 
question which still remains sealed and untampered with in the envelope. 

Preparation and Routine: Nothing is needed except the envelope, paper and pencil. Use the cheap type of 
envelope obtained at Woolworth's stores. Coat the entire face of the envelope with parafin wax that is cold and 
hard, by laying the envelope on a hard surface and rubbing the cake over it. Now burnish the surface with the 
Mount of Venus (the heel of the thumb) on your right or left hand, being careful that said Mount is clean as the 
parafin picks up all dirt. This gives you a smooth, shiny surface 

very susceptible to all impressions. Have a sheet of paper that can be folded several times. Contrive to keep the 
sitter in a standing position for the test. Hand him the paper after you have asked him to think of a question. Now 
give him a pencil and, at the same time, back up the paper he is holding with the face side of the envelope. He 
now writes his question and seals it in the envelope. 

Now you take the sealed envelope. Pretending to feel it, and turning it over and over in your hands, you read the 
impression in dulled writing on the face of the envelope! In short, an impression has been made on wax rather 
than by wax on paper. And most important, in handling, the dulled lines are obliterated by merely rubbing the 
envelope between the hands ! 

From here to the climax it is only "the business" as far as working goes. Reading the impression is a matter of 
tipping the envelope surface slightly so that the light strikes it right. I pretend to start writing on this side which 
gives you all the opportunity needed for reading. Before writing, however, ask if such-and-such means anything 
to them, describing something at random. Hand the envelope to them for the forehead action, and taking it back 
you scribble the answer on the back because writing won't "take" on the waxed surface and this maneuver makes 
turning the envelope over after reading go unnoticed. This is a nice effect for publicity purposes as one can 
always go about with a couple of prepared envelopes and paper. 


The following clipping appeared in the Public Notice Column of the New York Times, and illustrates a cute 
effect which has been written about a few times but seldom used in actual practice. 

W. B. Ruch. President American Gm Products, 
will take the 7 of clubs tonight. 

Kenneth Chamberlain. 

Perhaps the fact that someone else is actually doing it will start magicians off on the same track. It's possible of 
many, many variations, and as a publicity effect is very strong. 



Excellent for press and publicity work is this very effective and out of the ordinary trick. The preparation is very 
simple and quickly done with a minimum of material. 

Effect: The performer hands a spectator seven blank cards, one of which he is asked to take 
and write upon it the name of a dead person. He is then told to shuffle the seven cards and 
they are placed in an envelope, sealed, and the envelope initialed, whereupon the spectator 
may pocket it. Then seven more blank cards are shown and examined. These are sealed and 
this envelope likewise is initialed and held. The "Death Flight" takes place when the performer 
causes the dead name card to travel from one envelope to the other. Upon opening the first only six cards are 
found, all blank. In the second envelope are found eight cards and the dead name card among them! 

Requirements: A packet of blank cards; a packet of small envelopes which will hold the cards neatly; a pencil. 

Preparation: Place six blank cards in one of the envelopes, seal it and place it second from the top of the packet 
of envelopes, they all being flap side down. In the top envelope place a single blank card. 

Routine: Count out seven cards and give them to a spectator. He selects any one of them and writes upon it a 
dead person's name. Then have him mix them with the writing side of the "dead name" card down. You have 
taken the top envelope from the stack. Take the cards, insert them in the envelope (the single bank card is 
already in it) and hand the envelope to the spectator for sealing. As he does this, pick up the packet of envelopes 
and the pencil. Take back the sealed envelope and place it on top of the packet with the flap side down. Ask for 
his initials, turn the two top envelopes over, as one, and write the initials on the back. Slide this envelope from 
the packet and hand it to him to put in his pocket. The spectator thinks he has his own envelope, but really he has 
the one with the six blank cards. (His envelope is now on top of the stack in your hand). 

Hand the second spectator seven blank cards which he counts and examines. As he does so, you turn over the 
stack of envelopes in your hand, and pick off the top one and give it to him, asking him to seal up his cards. Take 
it back from him and place it face down on top of your stack of envelopes and finish sealing it by pressing down 
on the flap as you talk. Turn it over, singly and openly, and then, in getting a pencil again for marking, turn the 
whole stack over again. The envelope now on top is the first person's containing the "dead name" card and seven 
others. It is also face down, so you proceed to initial it with the second person's initials and hand it to him. 
(Editor's note: If you don't think you can work this stack turnover imperceptibly, you can follow the same routine 
as was used with the first envelope. However, the subsequent routine for the second envelope gives you a little 

As far as you are concerned, the trick is over except for the build up and the revelation of the transposition of the 
"dead name" card. When the first envelope is opened only six blank cards are found. The second envelope is is 
opened and found to contain eight cards and the "dead name" one is among them. 



Effect and Routine: Borrow a business card and ask the owner to write a question, line of verse, or name of a 
dead person on its back. Take the card from him, written side down, by grasping it at one end with your left 
thumb on top and the first finger underneath the card. Your right hand now pulls out your pocket handkerchief, 
holding it by one corner, and covers the card by drawing the corner back along the forearm until the card is 
covered by the center of the handkerchief. Now, with the right thumb and forefinger (finger on top) grasp the 
inner end of the card through the handkerchief close to where it is being held by the left finger. The left fingers 
let go but immediately regrasp the card and handkerchief near the top end. this time through a fold of the 
handkerchief. (The thumb at this point should have two thicknesses of the handkerchief between it and the top of 
the card.) The right hand now goes forward and picks up the front corner of the handkerchief that is hanging 
down. This comer is brought directly back along the arm to show that the card is still there with the written side 
down. Now drop the left hand with a sort of throwing motion, letting the two edges or corners of the 
handkerchief resting on the arm fall forward and down. The card is now apparently held securely in the center of 
the handkerchief. (This is the old coin move.) 

The right thumb and forefinger (finger on top) grasp the inner end of the card and hold the card and handkerchief 
bundle vertically, while the left hand reaches down and twists the hanging ends of the handkerchief. At this time, 
the card will be on the back of the folded handkerchief with the message looking right at you! (Hold the bundle 
in front of you at about chin level. ) This bundle is then tucked into the breast pocket, leaving the corners of the 
handkerchief sticking out. Take hold of the writer's hand and answer the question any way you see fit, or reveal 
the contents of the card. At the finish, reach up with the right hand, grasp a corner of the handkerchief and pull it 
quickly from your pocket, when the card will drop to the floor. 

I have found this a perfect press stunt and it can be done with a drawing or sketch which you can reproduce. 
Being impromptu, you have quite an effect. By using your own business cards you can leave them with the 
spectators, thus garnering some nice publicity. 



Any trick can be redressed and changed at will to create an entirely new effect. Envelopes are used in this case 
instead of cards. It sounds simple and is, but where cards might be used and passed off as an old story the use of 
envelopes makes this effect a novel mystery. 

Use letter envelopes that have gone through the mail but have been opened carefully at one 
end without mutilating them. About seven or eight are enough and all of them are addressed to 
different people in different cities. It shouldn't be hard to collect quite a lot of these from friends throughout the 

Carry them around and you are always ready. Pull them out and toss them around to be looked at. Now write 
something down on a piece of paper, fold it and let someone hold it. Stack the envelopes, fan, and have one 
selected. They read the address on the front and you have prophecied it correctly! Simple? Certainly, but the 
effect is neat. Just force the envelop any way you please. The straight fan force is always good and most natural 
with envelopes, as you will find when you try this stunt. It's really good! 



Reading messages in sealed containers make very impressive feats of clairvoyance, and this impromptu method 
from continentaf Europe will be found very practical as an interlude in your performance, or as an excellent 
publicity stunt. 

Effect: This is direct, easily followed and beautifully deceptive. Remove your card case from your pocket, take 
out one of your business cards and tear it in half. Now ask one of the ladies to loan you her compact. Whoever 
offers one is given half of your card on which to write a single word or name, and is then instructed to insert the 
card into the case and snap it shut. This case is now handed to you behind your back as you face your audience. 
Almost immediately you say that the second letter is exceptionally clear and is round like the letter "o" or "e." 
Then, with proper showmanship, the complete word is revealed, and the compact is returned and the word 

Routine: There is no preparation necessary. The compact is just a borrowed one, and your cards are unprepared. 
However, engraved cards work best because then you can tell by feel which is the front and back of the card. 

Commence by removing one of your cards and tear it in half so that it will fit easily into the compact. When you 
hand it to the young lady ask her to write a word on the back or blank side of the card. She does so and then 
encloses it in her compact which she hands to you behind your back. State at once that the second letter in the 
name is round and you'll be correct in the majority of cases, because usually this second letter is a vowel. At the 
same time, silently open the compact, remove the card and palm it in your right hand with the engraved side of 
the card against your palm. (If you do not use engraved cards, better nail nick the card so that you can distinguish 
on which side the writing is.) Hold the compact at the finger tips of the the compact at the finger tips of the right 
hand and bring this hand around 

to the front with its back towards the audience. Transfer the compact to the left hand, which has also been 
brought around to the front, and read the name on the palmed card which will be facing you. Put your right hand 
behind your back again as you turn the case over openly in your left hand. Seemingly sense another letter or two 
and call them out. Suddenly you get the full impression so you rearrange the letters and spell out the word. Just 
as you give the last two letters in a slow and hesitating manner, your left hand goes behind your back and the 
case is opened and the card reinserted. As you finish spelling the word, you close the case and then repeat the 
word, asking for verification as you return the compact. Be sure to replace the card in the compact as it was 
originally, that is with the same side up as put in by the young lady. 



Handwriting is something which may or may not identify one person from another. It's a moot question and 
therefore leaves the path open for an astute performer to make the most of things. 

Effect: The performer explains that he is a student of graphology and will give a test of his ability to read 
people's characteristics from their handwriting. He passes out ten to twenty business cards and asks those 
receiving them to write a certain sentence on the blank sides of the cards, while he is out of the room. These 
cards are collected by an obliging spectator in a hat and shaken up. When the performer returns to the room, he 
picks a card at random from the hat, studies it for a moment . . . looks over the faces of the guests, and then 
hands it to the person who had written it. He proceeds to do the same thing with the rest of the cards, to the 
amazement of those present, not making a single mistake. 

Preparation: The performer uses from 10 to 20 personal cards and naturally, one side bears the performer's 
name and address, which subtle angle prevents the spectator from using that side for writing. 

I TO 10 — 

II To 20 -♦ 

m i i « • • • • * * 

CODf ftAftKCD on ED6CS OF eLAN*. St(>€ OF CAK.DS 

This allows of the cards being "marked" with the edge reader principle, otherwise, should the cards be writeable 
on both sides, this cute and practically indetectable idea would not be available. 

Take a packet of twenty such cards in hand, all facing one way as far as the blank sides are 
concerned. Divide the long edge into two parts and, with a dot on the edge of each card, mark them 
from 1 to 5 and then 5 to 10. Ten cards remain. Instead of one dot this time, make two close dots for each 
number and these markings identify cards from 1 1 to 20. 

Turn the whole packet around, end for end, and the newly presented long edge is marked again from 1 through 
20. Now, as long as the printed sides of the cards are faced in one direction, the performer can take the packet, 
glance at the edges, and pick out any one of the cards from 1 through 20. 

This is, insofar as I have been able to test under practical conditions, the best possible method for finding the 
right cards under the strictest conditions and surveillance. 

Routine: At the start the cards are in order from 1 to 20. They are handed out, after a preliminary talk on the way 
a person's hand-writing reveals his characteristics to one who can read the hidden signs. Although the performer 
is set for 20 cards, he may hand out only 8 or 12 as the case may be and pocket the rest. This is done from the 
left to tight or in such order that the performer can remember those who have been given cards. 

The performer now picks up a book at random and reads a short sentence of five or six words. A book of prose 
or blank verse will be found the best to use. 

It matters not what this sentence or line may be, for all those who have cards write the same thing. The performer 
retires while the writing and collecting is taking place. 

Upon his return the performer takes the hat containing the cards, dips his hand amongst them and take out one. 
He studies it for a moment and looks the spectators over carefully. Then he approaches one and hands him the 
card he is holding. It is acknowledged as correct! 

Faster and faster the action is continued. The performer obviously "gets hot" as he "swings" into the judging and 
one by one the cards are handed back to their rightful owners. 

(Editor's Note: A similar effect, tut using paper billets, la "Alias Divination" by Oscar Weigle. Jr. In that 
excellent book of mental tricks, "You'd Be Surprised" Ted Annemann considered this to be one of the finest and 
most unusual effects of modem mentalism.) 

Dead or 



Here is an effect which is original with me and one that has been reposing in my notebook for several years. 

All you need is a packet of at least 35 blank cards which you hand to a spectator and ask him to select any one of 
them and then return the rest to you. Request the person to think for a moment of a relative or friend who is not 
living. This name (first and last), he is to write on one side of the card, and hold it writing side down. The card is 
returned to the packet of blanks and another spectator shuffles them well. The performer now takes them and as 
he drops them off the top, one at a time, the spectator who wrote is asked to spell the dead person's name letter 
by letter. As the last letter is reached, the performer holds the card at which he has arrived. The spectator repeats 
the name and the card is turned over. It is the card with the name of the dead person and everything is left with 
the audience. 

If you do not consider that a different and effective bit of business. I've been sadly fooled by the number of 
people before whom I've done it. When torn apart it is nothing but a card spelling trick in a weird dress. Some 
may prefer doing it with blank playing cards because of the ease in manipulation, but I don’t agree with this 
because cards of this type immediately give the impression of a card trick. My safe and sure method has two 
variations depending upon the performer's desire for cleanness. After the selection of a card I take back the rest 
and hand the spectator a pencil. Turning my back while he wrote. I'd cross my arms and exchange the packet for 
one trimmed a little narrower. Don't make them shorter as they are shuffled at the ends. Have the name card 
returned and mixed by the spectators themselves. Now take them for a further bit of mixing (being careful to 
have the packet kept right side up throughout). Then cut them several times, bringing the wide card to the top. 
Cut one more card on top of this making the name card second from the top. Do this carelessly while describing 
the affinity existing between the card written upon and the deceased person, and how differently it now vibrates 
from the rest. As you ask the writer to spell aloud, letter for letter, as you deal, gesture with the left hand holding 
the packet and turn it completely over. No difference can be seen. Now deliberately deal a card each time the 
spectator gives a letter. I have never had any trouble knowing when the end of the name is coming up. As you 
deal off the card for the letter third from last and still with two to go, turn the packet over with your left hand as 
your right hand lays the card down on the table. That is why it is best to put each card down with a deliberate, 
sweeping motion. Now the dead name card will show up on the last letter, and can be dealt off as described in 
the opening paragraph, or you may allow the spectator to lift it off the packet himself. 

If you don't care to switch packets you can previously trim one a little shorter and force this card on the spectator 
for the writing of the dead name. I have used this when doing the trick impromptu with a packet of business 
cards, but still I prefer the switch because of the freedom allowed the spectator at all times. However you do it 
though, you'll find here is one effect away from the usual run that is certain to excite comment. 



Here's a mental stunt that may be done practically impromptu yet has the appearance of genuine mindreading. I 
would suggest, however, that you follow the routine with the material in hand and you will grasp the principle 
without difficulty. 

Effect: The performer has a spectator write a dead name on one slip of paper, and a date, connected with the 
name, on another slip. The performer now picks up a blank slip and writes something on it, which later proves to 
be the same date as written by the spectator. The dead name slip is now held against the performer's forehead and 
he reveals the dead name, letter for letter. 

Preparation: All that is needed is a thumb tip and seven or eight pieces of paper, 2 inches by 3 inches. Fold 
these once the long way and then twice the opposite way. Open them out, except one, and put them in your left 
trouser pocket. This folded slip is placed inside the thumb tip which is placed in your right trouser or vest pocket 
so that it can be secured easily. You are now ready. 

Routine: In starting, the packet of papers is removed from the pocket and two are taken, the packet being 
replaced. One is handed to a spectator with the request that he write the name of some dead friend or relative and 

then fold it as it was before. The other piece of paper is left on the table and the performer turns back and walks 
away while the first slip is being written. 

At this time he secures the thumb tip, containing the dummy, on the right thumb and when he returns, picks up 
the paper he left on the table with the right hand. With the left hand he takes the dead name slip from the 
spectator and, at the same time, hands him the slip in the right hand. The right hand should be held back up with 
the thumb underneath. On this second slip the spectator writes down some particular year, for instance, some 
year in which he and the dead party were closely connected, or perhaps his birth year or year of death. 

As he gives these instructions, the performer has the dead slip on his left palm and the thumb 
tip containing the dummy on his right thumb. He lays the right thumb onto the slip on left 
palm, the left fingers close around it and the right thumb comes out with the paper which is tossed onto 
the table. Actually, however, the dummy is drawn from the tip instead while the dead slip remains in the left 
palm under the tip. The left hand drops to the side, and the performer turns and walks away again while the date 
slip is being written. This switch is smooth and clean. It shouldn't be watched or accentuated, but is done as a 
matter of course while explaining the procedure with the second slip. 

Now, while the second slip is being written, the performer has his back turned and quickly reads the dead slip. 
He refolds it and holds it in the same position in his left hand under the tip as he returns to the spectator. 

Picking up the dummy from the table (apparently the dead name) he asks the spectator into which of his pockets 
he would like to keep it and, at the same time, apparently puts it into his left hand which opens and holds it on 
palm. Actually it is put back into the thumb tip and the spectator picks up the real dead slip and pockets it. The 
performer now has the tip on his right thumb again with the dummy inside. 

The left hand picks up the date slip which the spectator had placed on the table, and once more the switch is 
made as at first. The right hand gives the dummy slip to the spectator, asking him to place it somewhere in view 
and to cover it with a paper weight or a book. 

The date slip in the left hand under the tip is pocketed as the performer asks the spectator to explain whether the 
date written was a birth, death or important event. During this slight stall, the slip is opened against the packet of 
papers in your left pocket and the packet brought forth. A glance at the top opened paper gives the performer the 
date as he takes a blank paper from the bottom of the stack. The packet is returned to the pocket and on the blank 
slip the performer writes the date that he has just read. This is given to a party seated a little distance away and. 
as the performer returns, his left hand drops to his pocket and the date paper is folded, pushed into the tip and the 
left hand comes out with the thumb wearing the tip. 

Walking to the table or wherever the date slip has been covered, the right hand picks it up, holds it on the right 
palm. The left thumb covers it for a second, the right fingers close, and the left thumb draws out carrying the slip 
from inside the tip and this is handed directly to another party while the tip in the right hand is pocketed for 

The person to whom the slip was handed is asked to read aloud the date. When he does, the party holding the 
performer's written slip is asked to read what was written and it is the same. 

Now the performer states that with the name slip he will try a quicker way and he asks the spectator to take the 
dead slip from his pocket and hold it against the performer's forehead. Very slowly the performer spells out the 
dead name letter by letter. 

When you try this you will find that the few stalls come at the right time to cover the moves. The principle of 
twitching by thumb tip is A1 Baker's and does away with all necessity for sleight of hand. However, if one wants 
to practice enough, it is possible to improve the working a good deal through the use of a straight method of 
pellet switching which requires no apparatus. 



Effect: You pass out four paper slips on which your subject writes three living names and one of a person who 
has passed on. He folds the slips once each way with the names inside. You take the slips one at a time, tear 
them up and drop them into an ashtray. As you do so each time, you burn the pieces by holding a lighted match 
to each separate pile. Suddenly, as the third one is burning, you say, "This is the dead name slip which is burning 
now!" Then reveal the dead person's name. The fourth "live" slip is left on the table. 

Routine: There is fine misdirection in this routine. Use four pieces of blank paper, size 2 inches by 3 inches. 
Have a person write living names on three of them, and a dead name on the fourth. Previously you have secretly 
marked the slip upon which the dead name is to be written. A nail nick is best. Hand your subject three of the 
papers, one after the other, requesting him to write names of living people on each. On the fourth slip, the one 
that is nail nicked, you ask him to write the name of some dead person. Have them folded, with names inside, 
and dropped on the table where they are mixed up a bit. You pick them up one at a time, tear them once each 
way and drop them in an ashtray where you proceed to burn them. Each time you shake your head and declare it 
to be a living paper. Select the nicked slip for your third, tear in half both ways, drop into the ashtray, but steal 
the center section as explained in the "Mindreading Publicity Effect" on page 30. Drop your hand into your lap 
and read the "dead name" as the pieces burn, then reveal it. The third live slip is left on the table. Give this a trial 
and you'll find it very effective and an excellent impromptu table trick. 



This is a clean and simple method for an effective living and dead test. At the finish all material used may be left 
behind as there is nothing wrong to find. 

Effect: Use five or six blank cards and a drug envelope. Four people write the names of living persons and the 
fifth writes the name of someone who has passed on. The cards are collected by one of the spectators, and mixed. 
Taking them with the writing sides down, the performer also mixes them a little more and puts the entire packet 
into the envelope. He now holds the envelope to his head and slowly and correctly reveals the dead name! 
Opening the envelope, the cards are removed and spread out with the writing side downward. The performer 
finishes by waving his hand over them and correctly picks out the dead name card and hands it to the writer. 

I consider this a very practical method for any close up opportunity, especially press work. 

Preparation: The drug envelope used is faked in a far from new manner. Across the face 
side, a half inch from the flap end, a slit is made large enough to accommodate easily one of 
the blank cards. The five or six cards used are ordinary except for one which has a nail nick in the upper 
left and lower right corners. If one takes such a card, holds it between the thumb and the first finger with thumb 
on top, and presses hard with the thumb nail, a nick is made that becomes an easily felt bump on the other side. 

I put these cards, with the nicked one on top, into the envelope and carry it in my vest pocket ready for 
immediate use. 

Routine: Take out the envelope, being careful not to expose the slit on the face side, and remove the cards. 
Leave the envelope laying on the table face side down. Show the cards and ask someone to think of the dead 
person. Hand him the top card for writing and hand the rest out for the writing of living names. 

Now have them collected by someone else and mixed with the writing sides down. Take them and mix them a 
little more and in doing so bring the nicked card to the bottom or the face side of the pile. Don't try to shuffle 
them like playing cards or do anything fancy. Just mix them carelessly with your two hands while they are held 
horizontal with the floor. 

Pick up the envelope with the left hand, flap open and with the right hand insert the packet. The right fingers are 
underneath the packet and, as you start this, the bottom card is pushed a little ahead of the others and going into 
the envelope goes through the slit. The rest of the cards on top are slightly tilted down at the end being held and 
go on into the envelope proper. Try this several times with the material in hand and it will be found an easy 
move. Now lift the envelope up, moisten the flap with the right forefinger and seal the flap while this side is 
towards the audience. 

At this time, because you are making it apparent that you are sealing the flap, the back or face of the envelope is 
towards you and the dead name card is looking right at you. 

If the name is upside down it doesn't matter, because you still have to bring the envelope to your head and it can 
then be turned around in your hands while you ask the person to think intently of the name. Slowly reveal the 
name of the person who has passed away. 

Hold the envelope in your left hand at the lower end with the flap side towards the audience and the card facing 
you. With a small pair of scissors cut the flap end away. However, the left thumb has drawn the card back about 
an inch to clear the slit, and the envelope is cut across on the slit, which destroys all evidence of trickery in the 

Reach in the opened end with the right first and second fingers which grasp the cards inside. The right thumb 
goes against the card on the back and, with one move, the cards are removed with the card from the back along 
with them. 

Toss the envelope aside or to the spectators and holding the cards, with the writing downward, mix them a little 
and spread on the table. Waving your hand over them finally pick up the correct card and return it to the writer. 

For clearness I think this a welcome routine. At any rate try it out a few times. 



While this effect has been sold under different names and credited to many different people, no one as yet has 
published the presentation which I first used over 25 years ago. Here is the effect: 

On a piece of paper about 3x2 1/2 inches in size the performer draws three short lines across the paper as he 
holds it lengthwise. This is given to the sitter for a short question, or better, for the name of one who has gone 
into the "happy summer land"; not now living. 

The paper is folded once each way and is given to the performer. He tears it up into small pieces and gives them 
back to the spectator, who drops them into a goblet of water on the table before him. Both watch the floating 
papers intently. They burst into flame and disappear. The performer picks up the goblet with one hand, gazes 
into it and reveals the secretly written information, or the "dead name," as the case may be. 

Preparation and Routine: This effect makes use of the stolen center ruse. Mark the dividing lines on the paper 
slips, as explained above, and have someone write a dead person's name in the center panel. Or draw an oval in 
the center of the paper and have the name inscribed within it. 

Now comes the subtle part. In his left trouser pocket the performer has put, just previous to the performance, a 
packet consisting of folded and torn bits of flash paper. In the center of this packet is a small piece of potassium. 
He finger palms this flash paper packet in his left hand during the writing and folding of the paper billet by the 

Taking back the written slip, and keeping it plainly in view, the performer tears it into little pieces, using the 
routine described in Annemann's "Mindreading Publicity Effect," page 30. He is careful, however, to tear this 
billet by holding it between his right thumb and forefinger so that, at the finish, he will have the torn center piece 
under his right thumb. Once the slip has been torn, he pretends to leave it in his left hand, actually palming the 
original pieces in his right hand, and bringing the flash paper pieces into view with the left hand. The performer 
asks the spectator to pick up the pieces from off his left hand and drop them into the glass of water. 

Now both the performer and the spectator watch the paper pieces floating in the glass, the 
spectator being asked to concentrate on the dead person's name. Under cover of this 
misdirection, the performer puts his right hand, containing the pieces of the original slip, into 
his right trouser pocket. He releases all the pieces except the center section, which he has under his thumb 
and opens it out against the base of his fingers. 

The potassium loaded flash paper pieces will float on the surface of the water for about twenty seconds, and then 
will burst into a grand flame — and they're gone! As the flame flashes up, the performer brings his right hand out 
of his pocket. He now reaches for the glass and picks it up with his right hand which, you will remember, 
contains the stolen and opened up center of the original slip. His fingers encircle the bowl of the glass and 
conceal the palmed slip from the view of both the spectator and the audience. By looking into the water, the 
performer can read the name written on the slip, for the glass helps to magnify the writing. Thus the master mind 
reveals the name on which the spectator has been concentrating! 


Effect: Have the spectator sitting opposite you and, in the following manner, proceed to convince him that a 
strange power is yours to command. Five or six pieces of rather heavy tissue paper (about two by three inches in 
size) are put in front of the subject. He is asked to pick up one and write upon it the name of someone living. He 
folds it once each way, puts it back on the table and takes another slip. This time he is told to write the name of a 
dead relative or close friend. He folds it as before, you take it from him, at the same time handing him another 
slip, and this time he writes another living name. The rest are living names also, until all slips are folded and on 
table. You then idly touch them with a cigarette, one after the other, one suddenly flaring up and vanishing. You 
ask the sitter to check the remaining slips for the dead name. It is gone! For the climax you impressively reveal 
the name. 

Method: The secret is flash paper, which any magical dealer can supply in large sheets. Take the paper from the 
spectator each time and place it on the table, but switch at the dead name. Then read it under the table edge while 
he is writing the others. The rest just works itself. The effect is marvelous. 



Here is a masterpiece from the fertile brain of that marvelous creator of subtleties of years ago. To be precise, 
this effect was advertised and sold by Mr. Hardin in 1907, yet today we find it is true magic because it isn't 
complicated. Its effect is truly amazing and will prove exceptionally worth while. 

It is a "Living and Dead" trick dependent upon the now presumedly ancient "rough" and "smooth" edge 
principle. But it is the presentation, once more, that was Hardin's forte. Following are his original instructions: 

Tear off one leaf of a sheet of note paper, and one of the edges (lengthways) will be quite smooth, and the other 
edge will be rough. This is the secret of the trick. First ask a party to take a sheet of note paper and tear off one 
half. Now ask him to tear this paper lengthways into five strips (of course one of these strips will have a smooth 
edge, and can be readily distinguished from the others, which will have two rough edges). Now you take these 
strips in a careless manner, square them up and hand them back. 

However you are careful to leave the smooth edged one at the bottom of the packet of papers. Next request the 
party to write on the first strip the name of some live friend, fold the strip and lay it on the table. Ask him to do 

the same with each succeeding slip, but when he arrives at the last or bottom strip ask him to write the name of a 
dead friend. Next ask him to mix all the papers well together and to bring you two hats, and two handkerchiefs. 
(At this point, the original instructions should have been written in caps.) 

You stand the hats on the table and picking up the strips one by one, you drop them openly into one of the hats. 
Now when you pick up the strip with the smooth edge you pretend to drop it in the hat with the others, but in 
reality you thumb palm and retain it in the right hand. Now picking up the two handkerchiefs, you spread them 
over the two hats. However, in doing this you secretly drop the concealed strip in the empty hat. You then 
announce that the spirit of the dead person will reach into the hat, pick out the slip with his name on it and put it 
in the other hat. Invite inspection of the hats, and the strip will be found in the empty one. 

This effect cannot be improved upon for directness of action or for ease of working. How many of my readers 
knew of that hat transfer, with a ghost hand taking part in the proceedings? 



A Living and Dead test should concentrate upon the wallop of the effect rather than upon the method. This is 
impromptu, and while the presentation idea involved belongs to Eddie Clever, the method of handling and using 
billets instead of envelopes and cards is mine. In this form the billets can be torn out of borrowed paper without 
preparation or notice. 

Use five or six billets about 2x3 inches. These are folded three times, to an easily manipulated size. One is 
secretly dotted on the outside, or given an extra bend or kink. The slips are passed out, and the person getting the 
marked one is asked to write a dead name. The others write living names. The writers refold the billets and drop 
them into a hat, the collecting being done by a spectator. 

The performer picks out a slip, making sure it isn't the "dead one", and announces it as a living name. He opens 
to verify, nods, refolds and gives to the man who collected the slips. As an afterthought he has this man read the 
name on the slip aloud so that the writer can claim it. Now reach in and take out the dead name slip, at the same 
time finger-palming one of the living name slips. Hold this to your forehead and announce it to be another live 
one. Open it for verification as before, note the dead name, nod, refold it and switch slips in handing it to the 
assistant. He reads the live name and this second slip is claimed by its owner. 

Take out the third slip, dropping the dead name billet back into the hat. Repeat the same procedure with this live 
name slip. By now you have accustomed the audience to your way of handling the papers, and twice (first and 
third times) your hands are actually empty. For the fourth time, take out the dead name slip. Build this up. 
Announce it to be the dead name and ask for the owner. Return the paper to him and ask him to keep it closed. 
Then reveal the name, letter for letter, for a smashing and baffling climax! 


Here's an idea for those using a Living and Dead test. For paper use a heavy tissue. Five pieces are written upon, 
four living and one dead. They are mixed and someone holds a match. One by one the folded slips are passed 
through the flame. The first disappears in a flash. This happens to the second, too. The third stays unharmed. As 
a check you try the fourth and fifth, both of which vanish in smoke and flame. The spectator opens the one 
unharmed slip and it is the dead name! There's nothing to it because the dead name is on the only piece that isn't 
flash paper! The effect on an audience is remarkable! 



Rather a nightmarish effect is this, it going slightly beyond the pale of things. It is the only feat of its kind, to our 
knowledge, in which the materials used never leave the possession of the spectator, and at no time is he 
approached by the performer. 

Effect: A pad, pencil, and envelope are put before a spectator. He thinks of someone who is dead and unknown 
to the performer. Another spectator now turns off the light and, with the magician in the corner of the room, the 
first person prints on the pad the name of the thought-of person. He then tears off the written sheet, rolls it into a 
ball, seals it in an envelope, and holds it to his forehead. After due concentration, the performer, although he has 
never left the comer of the room, successfully spells out the name in question! 

Requirements: A pencil, two small pads about the size of a playing card, a pay envelope, a fountain pen 
flashlight, and a small piece of carbon paper called "Auto-copy" and obtainable at Woolworth's. "Auto-copy" is a 
new idea in which the paper itself takes the impression. 

Preparation: Cut a piece of "Auto-copy" the width of one pad, but a trifle shorter. Attach a 
20-foot length of black silk thread to the upper right comer of the "Auto-copy" by pasting a 
small sticker over thread onto paper. The "Auto-copy" is placed under the top sheet of the 
pad. The prepared pad is placed in upper left vest pocket with the thread tucked in loosely 
beside it, and its free end tied to one of the vest buttons. Wrap a small piece of red cloth 
around the end of a pen flashlight. Tie tightly, and have the cloth of a quality that only a red 
glow comes through. Put this in inside coat pocket. The unprepared pad, pencil, and envelope 
are placed before the spectator on a small table, upper right corner of the pad being towards that part of 
room where magician is about to retire. 

Routine: When the lights have been put out, the magician removes from his pocket the prepared pad with a few 
feet of thread. He picks up the articles on the table one at a time and replaces them, telling the spectator he had 
better leave them as is so they won't be knocked off of the table. In so doing, the prepared pad is put down in 
place of the ordinary one. The magician now goes to his corner of the room, letting out thread so it will lie along 
the floor. 

After the spectator has printed the name he thought of, he is told to tear the sheet from pad and roll it into a ball 
between his hands. This is an important point as it not only keeps both his hands occupied, but also makes 
sufficient noise to cover any possible sound produced as the performer, from his corner position, draws the 
"Auto-copy" towards himself by means of the thread. 

During this time, the performer may keep talking and direct the spectator in sealing the paper inside the 
envelope, and then holding it to his forehead. In the meantime, he has secured the "Auto-copy", turned his back 
so as to face the corner as closely as possible, removed the pen flashlight, and in a space of about five seconds 
learns the thought-of name! He now finishes by spelling it out correctly, and stays in his place until the lights are 
on and everything is checked, he, of course, having done away with his apparatus of charlatanism. In closing, it 
can only be said, and it's a truly old saying too, that the effect should not be confused with the method. Just give 
it one or two fair trials ! 



Effect: The following is an unusual version of "The Quick and the Dead." All sitters present are given slips of 
paper on which to record the name of some living friend. That is, all but one sitter, who is asked to write the 
name of some close friend or relative not now living — someone in the happy summer-land or another world. 

The performer picks up a pitcher of water and fills a goblet standing nearby. One sitter is asked to collect the 
papers and see that they are well mixed before handing them to the performer. One at a time, he drops them into 
the goblet, while muttering, just audibly, a verse from Longfellow's translation: 

" 'Twas right a goblet the Fate should be 

Of the joyous race of Edenhall! 

Deep draughts drink we right willingly; 

And willingly ring, with merry call 

Kling! klang! to the Luck of Edenhall!" 

As the last paper drops within, the performer picks up the glass and asks the attendant who 
collected the papers to reach into the glass and take out, in a bunch, the papers floating there. 
The glass is held high while the performer approaches and stands before the person who wrote the dead 
name. He says, simply: 

"The drinking-glass of crystal tall; 

They call it the Luck of Edenhall." 

And that person is called upon to notice one lone paper at the bottom of the glass of water. He is asked the name 
of whom he wrote. The pitcher is asked for. The water is poured from the goblet. The spectator gets the paper 
from the glass and reads it aloud. It is the dead name! 

Preparation: Now to undermine the proceedings with factual data. The dead name paper must sink while the 
others stay, naturally, on the surface of the water. The slips of paper are cut from absorbent paper towels (in U. 
S. A., Scott Tissue Towels) and when of a size about 1x2 inches, any crinkled property is not noticeable. If you 
take such pieces of paper and singly push them into water edgewise they will rise to the surface. It therefore is 
necessary to indetectably prepare one piece, that given out for the dead name, so that it will sink to the bottom of 
the glass, alone. 

At any drug store procure a "mouth spray" device. At any paint or hardware store buy a small can of white 
shellac. Cut a goodly supply of papers. Take as many as you wish to prepare. The ratio will be about seven to 
one. With the spraying device inserted into the can give the "dead" papers a coating of the shellac — both sides. 
Keep these separate from the unprepared papers for it will be impossible to tell them apart. That is all. 

The prepared paper will sink — the others will stay on top. As long as you put the papers into the water edgewise, 
in order to completely inundate them, the proper paper will sink to the bottom, even while you don't know by 
sight or feel which it is. The floating papers are taken out "en masse" by the collector — the right one is at the 
bottom. In a few minutes you can prepare enough papers for a long while. With one added to a bunch of 
unprepared papers, a goblet and a pitcher of water, you have all you need to convince your "guests" that 
something strange is at work. 

Routine: As described under "Effect." 



Book tests come and go about the same way as do Four Ace Tricks, for it seems as though one is on the search 
continually for improvement. Of course, favorite methods vary according to the individual. I've seen some 
people who would swear by a method that to me seemed cumbersome, drawn out, and obviously a fake because 
of the round about way of getting to the word. However, the advantage of using or knowing several methods for 
a test makes it possible for one to repeat it at some later time without fear of anyone following the old method of 

In this particular method. I've tried to get away from the adding of cards, etc., all of which tend to make the feat 
appear mathematical. And more often than not, people don't understand just what you want and do just the 

Another good psychological point is that the selections appear fair because you have a spectator select more 
cards than are needed and then eliminate the picture cards. And lastly, the fact that the spectator never tells you 
anything, in fact hardly says a word, really impresses an audience tremendously. 

Presentation: Start by giving the deck a false shuffle or several straight cuts. Put the deck on a table with the 
book and walk away. While your back is turned, you ask someone to give the deck a complete cut. Then say, 
"Better give it another." Continue, "Now hold the deck in your hand and deal three cards, from the top of the 
deck onto the table in a face up row from left to right. These cards are going to indicate a page and a word in the 
book. By the way, are there any picture cards among the three?" 

If the spectator says, "Yes," you say, "They're too confusing. Push those three cards aside and deal three more in 
the same way. Are there any picture cards there now?" Suppose he says, "No." 

You go on, "Look at the first two cards. If they are a 6 and a 7, open the book to page 67. If they are a 5 and a 2, 
open the book to page 52." 

"You have it? Now look at the last or third card. I want you to start at the top of the page and count across on the 
top line to the word at that number. If the card is a 3, count to the third word. If the card is an 8 spot, count to 
the eighth word." 

"Now turn the cards on the table face down, so I can't see them, and keep your finger right on the word you have 
located. Have you got your finger on it? Fine! Please hold your finger on the word, look intently at it and 
concentrate on it." At this point you turn around, and proceed to reveal the word. 

Method: This effect can be obtained only through the use of the Si Stebbins' card stacking system and no other. 
There are only four possible combinations of three cards without pictures: A -4-7; 4-7-10; 2-5-8; and 3-6-9. 

With these four combinations in mind, you previously have looked up and memorized four words in the book 
you intend using: the 7th word on page 14; the 10th word on page 47; the 8th word on page 25, and the 9th word 
on page 36. 

Furthermore, two of these page numbers are even and two are odd. 

When you turn around to face the spectator holding the book, as already explained, you note whether his finger 
is resting on a right or left hand page. This is your clue, because all even numbered pages of all books are on the 
left, and all odd numbered pages are on the right when a book is opened for reading. (As you stand facing the 
person holding the open book, just remember this rule in reverse.) Therefore you know immediately whether the 
word is one of the two words on the odd pages, or one of the two words on the even pages. Thus you 
automatically eliminate two words, and have but two words to "work on." Start by giving the first letter of one of 

the two words. If right, continue. If wrong, say "Well, the last letter is " And you name the last letter of the 

other word, and spell out the word backwards. 

Whenever a spectator deals three times onto the table and has a picture card each time in his group of cards, you 
know automatically that the next or fourth deal, always will be the A-4-7 combination. In such a case, you don't 
even have to turn around but can name the word immediately. When you get used to working this trick with a 
certain book, you can also judge which of the two words it is, for the odd numbers are 22 pages apart and the 
even numbers are 22 pages apart also. 



This method of presentation has been a great favorite of mine for homes and spots where it can be presented in 
an apparently impromptu fashion. Many times when out for an evening, the opportunity will arise to pick up one 
of your host's books and secretly prepare this test. It only takes a few minutes' time to get ready. 

Effect: The performer picks up three books and asks to borrow a deck of cards. A subject is selected to assist 
and he makes an obviously free choice of one of the books. He then shuffles the deck of cards, cuts them, and 
retires to a corner of the room with half the deck and the book. He now looks at the top three cards of his half 
deck, opens the book at a page corresponding to the values of any two of the three cards, and counts along the 
top line on that page to the word that occupies the number corresponding to the value of the third card. Ask him 
to hold his finger on that particular word and concentrate on it. Then you reveal the word correctly! 

Preparation and Routine: In effect, it differs a lot from the usual routine. I know that my original way of 
having the page and number looked up from cards is extremely effective and a throw-off in every respect. 

At an opportune moment you pick up two books, apparently at random, from a table or bookcase. Deciding that 
you need three, and being at a loss as to which you will take, you call upon one of the spectators to make a 
selection and hand you a third one. This is just a little wrinkle but will be remembered later. 

Place the three books on a chair or on the floor and ask someone to pick up two of them. This is going to be an 
out and out force so I may as well explain it as I go along. If the person assisting leaves the right one behind, 
merely tell him to lay aside the books he has picked up as they won't be needed again. If he includes the right 
one among the two, ask him to hand you one. If you are handed the wrong one, thank him, pick up the book on 
the floor and lay them aside. If he hands you the right one, thank him, read the title of the book and mention that 
you are using for the test a book taken from the case and selected at random. Just take this part easy and don't 
stall or hesitate, and you have the prettiest force that you'll ever need. 

Now for the cards. Any borrowed deck is used and you fan through the cards to get a Four, a Five and an Eight 
spot on top in any order. Take the book in your right hand and. in covering the deck for a second, add the three 
top cards from the deck to the bottom of the book. Hold them against the book with your right fingers. Now have 
the deck shuffled, and take it back on your outstretched left palm. Ask someone to cut off a good quantity of 
cards and discard them. As they do this, you drop the book from your right hand onto the lower half of the deck 
on your left palm. Immediately hand the book with the cards beneath it to the person who is to assist you in the 
test. Ask him to take them both to a corner of the room and to turn his back. If he likes, he may leave the room 
entirely, just as long as he stays within hearing distance of you. 

Now you instruct him to look at the three top cards of the packet he holds. Tell him to take any two of them and, 
combining their values to represent a two digit number, open the book he has to that page. At this point you have 
a neat point. After telling him the above, continue and say "Just take any two of the three cards and open at that 
page. If you have a six and a nine you can call it either sixty-nine or ninety-six, it really doesn't matter as long as 
the book is opened at a page selected in some manner by the cards as I want everything left to chance." Now tell 
him to use the remaining card as a number and count along the top line to that word. When he locates the word, 
he is asked to remember it. You then, with only a word or two, reveal the word correctly! 

The real kick I get out of this test is the handling of the page and word numbers from the three cards. And I am 
sure that that point is as fair as any could be in the eyes of the audience. However, fair as it may seem to the 
audience and complicated as it may seem to you, there are only six possible pages and words that can be arrived 

Take three cards as follows and check with this table: 

Page 45 Word 8 
Page 54 Word 8 
Page 48 Word 5 
Page 84 Word 5 
Page 58 Word 4 
Page 85 Word 4 

That's the secret in a nutshell. Beforehand you memorize the six words as per the table. I say memorize because I 
know it to be the best way in the long run. The order in which you memorize them doesn't matter a bit. I 
generally change them around and form a sort of mental sentence made of the six words in their easiest 
remembered order. 

First pick out the books and have the right one selected. If you have been using the cards before this, you can 
have the three proper cards already on top. You have nothing else to do after the person cuts the deck and leaves 
the room, or stands in the comer, except to tell him what to do. When he returns, or turns to face the audience, 
you know he is thinking of one of the six words, and it is up to you to find out which one. Nine times out of ten 
you can pump it out of him with a question or two or by stabbing at letters. 

Ask him does the word begin with a "T," etc. If wrong, try a last letter of another word. When I say, "Ask him," I 
mean, "Tell him," but in a more or less questioning manner. You'll always get a reaction and know whether or 
not you are on the right track. As there are only six words you shouldn't have much trouble. More often than you 
would think, you'll hit upon the right word the very first time. Remember that in the mind of the audience you 
have the most difficult task in the world — that of finding out what word is being thought of. And to the audience 
it might be any word in the English language. 

As a variation, I sometimes hand the person a pencil and a pad and ask him to print the word on the top page of 
the pad and then place the pad in his pocket. Standing across the room, I can invariably spot a letter or two by the 
action of the top of the pencil and can also judge the length of the word. In this way you can hit the right word 
the first time, in practically every case. 



This "Perfect Book Test" is an effect put on the market some years ago at $2.50. 

Effect: In working, three books are handed to a spectator in the audience and he selects one. The medium is 
blindfolded and is sitting at the front with her back towards the audience. The spectator opens the book at any 
page, runs his finger along the first line and stops on any word. He shows it to several around him, closes the 
book, puts it between the other two, and someone else carries them to the medium. She tosses one to the left, one 
to the right, and keeping one, rimes the pages and correctly announces the chosen word. 

Routine: The performer stands to the left of the spectator. He takes the two unused books back with his left hand 
and, as he tells the spectator what to do with the chosen book, puts his right hand in his trouser pocket where a 
waxed business card and pencil stub repose. The moment the book is opened and a page selected, the performer 
jots it down on the blank card in his pocket. He tells the spectator to run his finger along the top line and 

to stop at a word he likes. This done, the performer jots down the position of the word in the chosen line while 
the spectator shows it to those close by. As he tells the spectator to close the book, the performer palms the card 

from his pocket and transfers the two books to his right hand, pressing the card against the under side of the 
bottom book. He takes off the top book with his left hand, has the spectator put his book on top, and on this 
drops the book from his right hand, the card being stuck beneath. The three books are given to someone else to 
deliver to the medium who removes the card, tosses the outside books away and finds the word. 


( Tituba — The Original Witch of Salem) 


The effect is the thing, and this effect is different. Three books or magazines are shown and one is selected. The 
performer has three piles of envelopes, each of a different size so they can be nested one within the other From 
the smallest pile he gives a spectator one into which he puts a blank piece of paper and then seals it. The 
envelope is placed into one of the next larger size and the spectator writes his name across the flap. This set of 
two envelopes is now sealed in the third and largest envelope. 

With the envelope in hand, the performer addresses a number of people, obtaining a figure from each. With these 
jotted down in a column, a line is drawn beneath and the envelope is given to the man who signed the second 
envelope. He adds the column and calls aloud the total. We will assume it to be 54. 

The performer asks the person with the magazine to open it to page 54 — but page 54 is found to be torn out, and 
in its place drops out the blank piece of paper. 

The performer acts annoyed to no slight degree, explaining, "Tituba likes to have fun in her witchy way. She was 
the West Indian slave who started the witchcraft scare back in 1692 with her voodoo stories. I generally have a 
word selected on the chosen page of the book and Tituba, believe it or not, scrawls the word on the piece of 
paper inside the envelope. She never knows what the word means because she was burned at the stake just when 
the children of Samuel Parris were trying to teach her to read and write. She duplicates the printing as best she 
can and I've noted quite a bit of improvement over a period of five years since I learned of her presence, but 
when she gets impatient, mad, or just wants to play a joke, she'll rip the entire page out. Books never meant 
much more to her than something with which to start a fire. I'm sorry things have gone wrong. I can finish now 
only the way she'll let me." 

The spectator with the envelope opens the first and identifies his signature on the flap of the second envelope. 
When this second envelope is turned over, right across its face is scrawled in large crayon figures the page 
number 54. Underneath the figure is the name Tituba in a childish scrawl. "You see," says the performer, "one 
never knows for sure what will happen. Maybe she thinks she knows enough about the alphabet and wants me to 
teach her arithmetic." 

The envelope is opened and the inside one removed. When this is opened there is found inside the missing torn 
out page, and the performer finished wryly, with "Well, if a word could have been selected on the page, Tituba 
certainly made sure that it would be found in the envelope." 

Preparation: Have three magazines or books of a decidedly different appearance. From one tear very roughly 
and jaggedly a page in the 50's or 60's. Feave at least an inch-wide strip near the binding. At that spot insert a 
blank piece of paper, one of the sheets from the pad you will later use in the effect. Now pile up the three books 
with the prepared one in the center. 

Have three stacks of envelopes. Call the smallest size 1, then 2 and 3. The 1 and 3 piles are ordinary and 
unprepared. The top envelope of pile 2 (flaps up) has its flap entirely cut away. Then the flap of the next 
envelope under it overlaps the top envelope and everything appears right. Fold the torn out page, not nicely, but 
at angles, until it fits into the smallest envelope. Seal it and place this inside the second envelope of pile 2 whose 
flap overlaps the top flapless one. Then, on the face side of this second envelope which now contains the sealed 
page, scrawl the page's number and Tituba's name. A duplicate piece of blank paper and a pencil completes the 

Routine: Lay the three books in a row with the faked one in the center. A spectator steps up and you ask him to 
give you two of them. Seldom will he give you the two end ones but when it does happen, toss them aside and 
tell him to hold the other. When the faked book is among the two given you, immediately say, "Now take one 
back." If he takes the faked one, say, "Hold it for a few minutes." If he takes the other, you hold up the faked 
one, saying, "One book out of three. Put the others aside and watch this one carefully." The whole thing must be 
done quickly and without hesitation or stalling. 

The No. 1 stack of envelopes is picked up in the left hand with flaps upwards and to the right. The top one is 
taken off and given to a person to blow in. Then he is given the piece of paper to seal. During this you lay down 
the first pile and pick up the No. 2 pile in the same manner. Take back the sealed envelope with your right hand 
and apparently put it into the top envelope. The audience sees the flap lift up but it's really the second envelope's 
flap, and the sealed envelope goes into the top flapless envelope. Grasping the opened flap, the right hand pulls 
the envelope away from the pile. You swing to the right as this is done and your left hand lays its pile on the 
table. The face side of this envelope is kept down and with a moistened finger you seal the flap and hold it for 
the spectator to sign across the flap side. 

Pick up the No. 3 pile and slide the envelope into the top one of the pile. Hand it to the spectator for sealing. 
Then take it back for the addition part. Each of six or seven people whisper figures from 1 through 9 to you as 
you approach them. You write the figures on the face side of the envelope. However, you add them as you go 
along keeping the total in your mind after each figure. When the total reaches less than 9 from the page number 
you want to force, stop. Say that you will have them added up and, at the same time, make a flourish of drawing 
the line beneath the column of figures. However, you have just added another figure before that, a figure that 
brings the total to the page number desired. Simple as it is, the subtlety hasn't found its equal for simplicity in 

The trick is done but for the histrionics. I recommend that it be presented without any fussing around, or any 
attempt to justify your actions other than a simple detailing of what you are doing. The time for the audience to 
think is when you find the page gone, give them the patter and rake Tituba over the coals, and then wind things 
up with the discovered page plus the plaint that you're sorry. Just impress them that you are embarrassed by 
failure and go into your next item as if you are sure this will work and make up for the one which just went 
wrong. You'll find out that they'll remember Tituba longer, sometimes longer than they'll remember you. 



Most readers will have a set of the five dice used in Heath's Deciphering Dice Trick. After using it for a time, I 
discovered that the dice were peculiarly adapted for a subtle book test. 

Effect: Produce the five dice and mention that they are used for some money game (without going into that part 
further) as an excuse for their being numbered with three digits to a side. Let someone shake and roll them. You 
line them up in a row, and turning your back ask the person assisting to add up the figures and get the total. Then 
ask him how many figures are in the total. He replies that there are four, and you tell him to look at the first two 
and the last two. Now toss him a book, and have him open it at the page represented by the higher of the two 
numbers. Then, taking the other number, he counts to that word on the page and remembers it. You take out a 
pocket notebook, jot something down on a page, tear it out, crumple it and hand it to another person. The word is 
now disclosed, and your written divination is found to be correct. 

Preparation and Routine: I have found that the use of the dice make the test appear very fair. There is never a 
thought that in the moment of putting the dice in line, or in instructing the spectator what to do, you have learned 
the total by the short cut process possible with this trick. The opinion they have is that there can be hundreds of 

As a matter of fact, there are only 27 different grand totals possible. Going still further, if one separates the four 
figure totals in half, using them as large and small two-figure numbers for page and word, there are only 15 
possible words that can be selected. Thus, on the inside cover of your notebook, you have the list of the 15 
words — from the book you intend using — followed by the 15 smallest figures in all possible totals. It's an easy 
matter, then, to steal a glance at the prepared list as you open your note book to jot down your written word. 

The combinations arc as follows: 
































(Variation by P. F. dark: Use the above test with a telephone directory. Vary by having two of the figures 
represent the page, the third figure the column, and the last figure the name in that column. It is easy for the 
spectator to find the name and telephone number as he never has to count down more than nine, i.e.: 3119 would 
be page 31, first column, ninth name. When there happens to be a nought in the last one such as 3020, the page 
would be 30, second column, and then, as long as there is a nought, you can tell them to look at the first name.) 

A monstrous variation of this test is possible for those who are at home with a set of books or encyclopedia, 
whose pages run consecutively through the volumes as high as 3, 911. In such a case, you tell the person 
assisting to look through the set and find the page represented by the entire total. Then they are to add together 
the figures of the total reached and count to that word. You successfully reveal the word in this case, also, 
because there are only 27 pages that can be selected. When you add the four figures of any total you get 14 in 
every case except two, when it is 5. Your notebook, of course, carries the 27 totals with the correct word after 



I've used the novel principle employed in this trick many times for an impromptu book or magazine test. With 
but a minute's access to a book and a few minutes to set your cards, you have as clean a test as you'll find 

Effect: You ask two spectators to step forward. To one of them you hand a book, while the other one selects four 
cards from the deck which you have ribbon spread across the table top. He gives two of these cards to the man 
with the book and retains the other two for himself. One man totals the values of his cards and the book is 
opened at that page. The other man totals his cards and counts down to the word on the page at that number. You 
have moved away from the table while the selection of a page and a word has been going on, but once they 
decide on the word you are able to reveal it. 

Preparation: The deck for this trick is stacked and utilizes the 14-15 stack now generally known to magicians. 
It's a case of arranging the values (disregarding the suits) so that any two adjoining cards in the set-up will total, 
when added together, either 14 or 15. For instance: 7-8-6-9-5-10-4-J-3-Q-2-K-A-K-2-Q-3-I-4-10-5-9-6-8-7-7, 
etc., until all the cards in the deck are used except two Aces, which can be left in the case or in your pocket. This 
deck can be cut indefinitely and any two cards removed together will total either 14 or 15. 

My simple, but extremely useful discovery was this. If you spread the deck across the table and remove two 
together, the card above and the card below this pair always have a definite and unvaried relation. If the inside 
pair total 14, the outside pair will total 15 or 16. If the inside pair total 15, the outside pair will total 13 or 14. 
Therefore, it is only necessary to remember the 13th and 14th word on page 15, and the 15th and 16th word on 
page 14. 

Routine: When ready to present the effect, false shuffle the cards and have someone cut them on the table. Now 
ribbon spread the deck face down across the table, and walk away a short distance. Hand the book to a spectator, 
ask him to select someone else to assist and the two of them step up to the table. Now have one of them remove 
four cards together from anywhere in the spread. Then say that you want the cards divided and ask the first 
person which two he would like to have, the middle two or the outside two. Whichever he wants, tell him to take 
them and ask the other person to take the remaining two cards. 

You now know that the person getting the center pair has a total, when the two cards are added, of 14 or 15. Ask 
him to add the values of his two cards together and then open the book to that page. Then ask the second person 
to add the values of his two cards and to count along the top line on the selected page to the word at that number. 
Both men are asked to remember the word. When this second man counts to the selected word on the selected 
page, you know the page immediately because 14 will always be on his left, and 15 will always be on his right as 
the book is open before him. 

Now you know the word must be one of the two you have remembered. Ask your two assistants to concentrate 

on the selected word, and then you say, "The first letter looks like " If right, continue and finish. If wrong, 

say, "Well, perhaps I should try it backwards. The last letter looks like a ," and you proceed to spell it out 

backwards. You merely spell the other of the two words at this time. Always start with the 13th word on page 
15, and the 16th word on page 14 and you will be right nine times out of ten — for there are only six instances in 
the stacked set-up when the others will pop up. 



Effect: Say, in starting that you wish a word selected, one in the English language. To prevent your mind and 
speech from influencing the subject, you continue, it shall be made by chance, with cards and a book. And. you 
finish, to make impossible the reading of the subject's mind by yourself, of course, you shall write down first 
what thought has come into vision of your foresight. 

Introduce two slates. Pick up the top slate and proceed to write on it. Pick up the other slate and drop it over what 
you have written and lay the slates, as they are, in a visible spot. 

A volunteer assistant now is given a book and a deck of cards. You turn your back. He is told to cut the deck 
once or twice and then cut it into two piles. Next he is asked to take the top and bottom cards of each pile. You 
remark that the picking is made as mixed up as possible. 

With these four cards in hand, the spectator is to add their values together for a total which represents the page in 
the book to which he is to turn. When he announces that he has it, you ask that he put the cards back among the 
others and forget them. Turning, you request that he locate a word on the page by first adding together the 
figures of the page number at which he is looking, and then counting across the printed lines until he reaches the 
word at that spot. 

Whereupon, the word being disclosed for all to know, the performer picks up his slates to reveal that he has 
foretold successfully the choice of that particular one of many thousand words. 

Preparation: Remove two aces from a deck and arrange the remaining 50 cards by values so that each adjoining 
pair, when added together, total either 14 or 15. (7-8-6-9-5-10-4-J-3-Q-2-K-A-K-2-Q-3-J-4-10-5-9-6-8-7-7-8, 
etc.) The deck may be cut indefinitely without harm. In the book you will use, note, and remember, but three 
words — the tenth word on page 28, the eleventh word on page 29, and the third word on page 30. 

Take two slates and a flap to fit. On one slate write one of the words. On the flap write another of the words. 
Cover the slate writing with the flap, its own writing inside. Lay this, with the flap side up, on your table. Put the 
untouched slate on top. 

Routine: Follow the presentation as described in the beginning, by handing a spectator the book and the deck of 

It will be seen that with the arranged deck and the adding together of the top and bottom cards of two cut piles, 
the total can be only 28, 29, or 30. And. the tenth, eleventh, and third words, respectively, are all that can be 
noted by the spectator. 

Two of these are written on the slate and flap as described. The third you write on the other slate during the 
effect, and onto this unshown writing drop the other "casually shown blank" slate with flap side down. 

Knowing the positions of these written words inside the slates, it is no skillful problem at all to finally take them 
apart to reveal the proper word of the three. Should it be the one just written, only the top slate need be lifted and 
shown. For either of the other two the slates must be turned over, allowing the flap to drop from one to the other 
of the inside surfaces. The "lift-off, in this case, must be more careful, for only one of the written-on surfaces is 
disclosed while the other slate is tossed back onto the table. The action is not reprehensible, in a way, because 
the audience has seen, at one time or another, both clean surfaces of both slates. And. having seen you write 
something on one, they accept what is shown as that writing.* 



In most tests with newspaper ads, there is but one way of getting the information as to the contents of the ad as 
far as the audience is concerned. In this instance. I've tried to change the effect for each and at the same time 
make it very easy for the performer. 

Effect: A want ad, or renting ad page is removed from a local paper. A column is cut from the page and six or 
seven people clip out ads from the column strip. The most practical way of presentation is for you to clip the 
strip of ads apart on a saucer, and then let several people each select 

* (Note by Annemann: I thought that I exhausted the 14-15 deck stack principle long ago but Mr. Vosburgh has 
a decidedly new angle for its use in a book test Besides this "break-down" of chances to a three-word possibility 
there is included a revelation via slates which, for the first time to our knowledge allows of the word being 
foretold by the performer without the use of a definite force.) one ad. Each person is handed an envelope in 
which to seal his ad. Each is asked to pick out an ad and put it in the envelope without looking at it, as you are 
trying a test of clairvoyance and do not want to get any telepathy mixed in. The envelopes are sealed, collected, 
and given to you in a bunch. The lights are then turned out. One of the spectators takes the envelopes in the dark, 
mixes them, keeps one and tosses the rest onto the table. The lights are turned on again, and you stress the point 
that you had the selection of an envelope made in this way to prevent anyone from saying, or thinking, that you 
could keep track of any ad or any envelope. 

You now concentrate, hedge around a little, and finally give the import of the ad that the spectator is holding. I 
do not advise giving the ad word for word. The envelope is opened, the ad removed and checked. Now repeat the 
test, but this time with the lights turned on. Ask another person to mix the envelopes that are on the table and 
then select one of them. You stand before him and slowly reveal the contents of his ad. The envelope is opened, 
the ad checked and you are found to be correct again! 

Preparation: No other ad test has allowed of these conditions, i.e., each choice a free one. The basic method, 
however, is far from new. It's only the combination that counts. Only six or seven ads are necessary. Pick up 
seven papers, for instance, if you are going to use six, and cut from six of them two different ads. Try to pick out 
ads that are about different subjects. This gives you six duplicates of each ad. 

Now obtain twelve No. 2 drug envelopes that open at one end. Trim the closed ends and sides of six of the 
envelopes and you'll have six envelope fronts with flaps attached. Insert these fronts into the other six envelopes 
so that the flaps come together. In the back compartment of each envelope, put the six duplicates of ad No. 1. 
Wet the flap of the whole envelope and stick it to the flap on the fake insert. The envelope now appears to be an 
ordinary one. Put into the front compartment of each of these envelopes the six duplicates of ad No. 2. Now seal 
the envelopes in the regular manner. You now have six envelopes, each with two compartments, and with six 

duplicate ads in the front section of each, and with six different duplicate ads in the rear section of each 

Put this packet of six prepared envelopes in your left side coat pocket where you can reach it quickly. Have your 
seventh newspaper handy, together with a pair of scissors and six more envelopes. 

Routine: When ready, open the newspaper and take out the ad page. Cut out a column of fifteen or twenty ads 
and snip them apart into a saucer or cup. Pass the saucer around and have six people select ads and seal them in 
the unprepared envelopes you hand them. Take the envelopes back with your right hand, and the moment the 
lights go out drop them into your right coat pocket. Simultaneously bring the prepared packet of envelopes out of 
your left coat pocket with your left hand. Give this prepared packet to someone to mix and to make a selection of 
one envelope. You walk over to the light switch and put on the lights yourself. Everything looks fair because the 
spectator has his own envelope and is just laying the rest on the table. You step up to him, and disclose the 
contents of the first ad in the back compartment of the envelope. Take the envelope from him, tear off the flap 
end, pinch the envelope open, shake it and the ad from the rear compartment falls out. If the envelope has been 
made correctly, you can flip the center section — dividing the envelope — to either side as you pinch the envelope 
open. In this case, you manage to open the rear compartment only thus letting out the ad in the rear. In doing 
this, the center section is squeezed flush up against the front of the envelope thus securing the other ad. No 
matter how much you shake the open envelope, this second ad cannot become dislodged. 

Now have someone else take the remaining five envelopes and make a choice of one of them. Stand before him 
and disclose the contents of the other ad, the one in the front compartment. Open the envelope, but this time 
squeeze the center section against the back of the envelope which allows only the ad in the front compartment to 
fall out. Have the ad verified and checked with your revelation. Pick up the remaining four envelopes and drop 
them into your right coat pocket, but to the inside of those already there. Later you can take out four of the 
unprepared envelopes and drop them on a nearby table — just in case someone wants to look them over. 



This is a magazine test wherein the performer reveals words selected by two different people. The repetition 
raises the effect above its first climax, for interest has been whetted and the second revelation is more confusing 
than the first. 

Effect: The performer exhibits three different magazines and has one selected by one spectator and a second one 
selected by another person. The performer then announces that he wishes to have a page selected for the test he 
is about to attempt and. so that there will be no question but that the page is chosen fairly, he takes a small pad 
down into the audience and has several people whisper a series of numbers in his ear. These numbers are written 
on the pad, which is then handed to one of the assistants holding a magazine. This person totals the column of 
figures and opens his magazine at that page. He then, of his own accord, selects a word on that particular page. 
The performer picks up a slate and starts to write down a series of letters, finally combines them into a single 
word which surprisingly enough turns out to be the chosen word. 

Now the other assistant opens his magazine to a page suggested by anyone in the audience, and counts down to a 
word at a number suggested by someone else. He concentrates on this word and the performer successfully 
reveals it. 

Preparation: The magazines are prepared, but once they are fixed up they are good for quite a few 
performances. Use Collier's or Liberty Magazines, the latter being more practical because of its smaller size. Buy 
two copies of the same issue. Now buy one copy each of two different issues. From one of the latter remove the 
cover, which comes off easily because it it is only stapled on. Exchange this cover with the cover on one of the 
duplicate issues. Throw away the odd copy and the cover. You will now have three magazines, all with 
decidedly different covers, but two of which are alike in contents. 

You will also need a small note pad and pencil, and a slate and a piece of chalk. 

Routine: The three magazines are brought forward and a spectator is asked to select two of them. Usually he 
will take two that are different, which is exactly as it should be. If he takes the two like magazines, then 
immediately hand the one left to another spectator and ask the first man to hand back either one of his two. In 
this way you will always end up with two people holding different magazines, and with you holding the 
duplicate of one of them. 

For the moment you lay your magazine aside, but close at hand, and concentrate upon the person holding the odd 
magazine. From your pocket take a small pad and pencil. Say that you desire everything left to chance. Pass to 
four or five people, each of whom whispers a single figure in your ear, and in every case you write down the 
figure before that person's eyes. Then you hand the pad and pencil to the man with the magazine. He totals the 
column and opens the book at that page. It's forced quite simply and cleanly. Let's say you previously picked 
page 42, one having reading matter. You put down the figures as given, but silently add them to yourself. When 
the total hits 33 (9 less than 42) or more, start back towards the man and his magazine. You know the exact 
figure needed to make your desired total. You stand before the spectator. Say, "Here's a column of figures taken 
at random. You total them, and no matter what the result is, open the magazine at that page." As you talk you 
openly draw a line under the column, but a bit below the last figure, and as you indicate that he is to add and 
total what's there, merely add in that needed figure. 

He takes the pad and you return to the front and pick up a slate and chalk. He totals and gets the page. Now ask 
him to think of a figure himself, 1 to 9. He is told to count along the first line of reading matter on the page, 
noting the word at that number. You pretend to write letters of the alphabet on the slate, where, quite visible, is a 
lead pencil list of the nine words of the first line on that page. You have judged his counting across his page. 
Start from where you think he is and pump. "It's a long word." "It's a word you can picture. A name of 
something." "The word you have in mind denotes action. It's something a person does." "It's a very simple word 
that's common." Such pumping does not hurt a bit. You are reading a mind. You get a first letter. If wrong tell 
him to think of the next letter, you naming the second letter of another word. It will never take as long as it reads 
in print. Once you are sure write it on the slate and have him call it out. Then show the slate. 

The foregoing is far from original but it has points which fit in this test and build for the second. Regardless of 
how hard it is, say, "You're a difficult subject. It's hard to get impressions. You should make a good poker 
player." And turn to the other person. Put the slate aside. Point to someone and ask for a number not over 50. 
Then point to someone else and ask for a number from 1 to 9. 

Have the second man stand. Be serious. Tell him to open his magazine at the page called. At the same time pick 
up your magazine saying, "Hold it up so no one but yourself can see the page." Illustrate, and open your 
magazine to the correct spot. Keep your finger there. He does his part. Then tell him to count along the line to 
the second number decided upon. Again illustrate, stressing that no one must get a glimpse. Only a glance gets 
you the word in your duplicate magazine. Lay it aside. Now turn on your best showmanship and build this 
second revelation to a smashing climax! 



Effect: You begin this effect by having the medium leave the room. Have her hide in an adjoining room with the 
door closed, and play this fact up. As soon as she has left, bring out a deck of cards, shuffle them, and then have 
a spectator cut the cards and replace the cut. Then with the deck face down before him, a spectator cuts off any 
number of cards up to half the deck. Without looking at it, he places the bottom card of his cut-off portion in his 
pocket, keeping the rest of the packet himself. The performer, with the half deck remaining, goes to spectator 
number two who also cuts off a portion. This person, however, looks at the bottom card of his heap and then 
shuffles it into the packet he holds, along with those the performer has left. 

Leaving him to his shuffling, the performer has a word chosen in a dictionary, a spectator riming through and 
stopping anywhere at all. Next someone names a color. Then any spectator takes the shuffled half deck of cards 
to the medium and passes it to her through the slightly opened door. 

Within a short while the medium comes back. She carries the card that was shuffled into the deck and on its face 
is written the name of the chosen color, the word in the dictionary, and the name of the card the spectator has in 
his pocket which, as yet, no one has looked at! 

Routine: Card Code: A Si Stebbin’s set-up takes care of the cards. Your first shuffle is false, naturally. After the 
first spectator has cut off some cards and put the bottom one in his pocket, you nick the top card of the remaining 
half deck along the side edge with your finger nail. 

When the second spectator cuts to a card, you repeat the process by nicking the next card down, except that this 
time you nick it on the end. 

When the medium gets the cards, she looks for the card with the nick in the end, adds three and takes the next 
suit which gives her the name of the chosen card. She looks through the deck and removes this card. Then she 
locates the card with the side nick, adds three, takes the next suit and thus knows the name of the card reposing 
in the spectator's pocket. She writes the name of this card on the card she has removed from the deck. 

Color Code: The color is cued according to a simple code. Think of Governor Bryan but in abbreviated form, 
like this: GOV. BRY. Each letter in these abbreviated initials stands for a different color, i.e., G means Green, 0 
means Orange, etc. Further, if a man brings the deck to the medium, the color is in the GOV group; if a woman, 
in the BRY group. 


Color is: 

Color is: 






.. Orange 







To identify the color, a fountain pen is used. Have the person bringing the deck to medium take your pen with 
him. If the pen is still capped, that indicates the first color on the list; if the cap is on the opposite end from the 
point, it indicates the second color; if the pen arrives without a cap, it indicates the third color. (Example: A man 
brings the cards and a capless pen. The color is violet.) The medium writes the correct color on the card. 

Word Force: The word, of course, is forced. The medium knows it beforehand and writes it on the card before 
returning. Use Holden's "DeLuxe Dictionary Trick" or Baker's version here, and you're all set. If you do not have 
either of these, then the following force is excellent: 

Pass out two or three pocket dictionaries. Then bring out a match box, open it and dump four small dice on the 
table. A spectator picks them up, examines them and drops them into the half opened match box which you are 
holding. Explain, as you close the box and shake it, that the first two dice, reading from left to right, will 
designate the page number and the last two, the word on that page. Push the drawer of the box out and the 
spectators, who have the dictionaries, take a look. They open their dictionaries and find the "forced" word, 
because the dice always land the right way up. This is due to the fact that the four dice they see have been glued 
in place at the end of the drawer which you open. The original four dice, which they heard rattle, are at the other 
end of the drawer. Drop the box into your pocket and go on with the trick, but later take out an unprepared box 
with four loose dice and leave it on the table. Somebody will be sure to look at it! 

The small dictionaries have two columns of words per page. I've found it best to avoid forcing a column. As the 
spectators are noting the dice merely tell them to count down in the first column and, if the number is too large, 
to continue the count in the second column. You always keep that number low to avoid mistakes in counting, but 
they don't know that, and your statement sounds as if you don't know what the dice show. 

An alternate method of forcing the page and number is to use the torn newspaper comers as explained in "The 
Twentieth Century Newspaper Test" on page 68. Furthermore, you can eliminate the use of the thumb-tip by 
having several torn corners, all bearing the same page number, in your pocket to start, the ones you tear from the 
newspaper in sight of everyone going into your change pocket. When a person reaches down into your pocket for 
one of the corners, he naturally gets one of the duplicates. Since there are two numbers on the corner of each 
piece, you have them multiplied to get the page, and added to get the word. 



This is the best and cleanest way of presenting a newspaper test yet conceived. The method for securing the 
numbers, which in turn are used to indicate a column and ad, is most disarming and highly original. In book tests 
and effects of this nature I have always objected to the introduction of outside and otherwise foreign objects such 
as cards, dice, counters, numbered papers and whatnot that immediately gave the effect an air of preparedness 
and trickery. 

In the case at hand there is nothing ever seen by the audience except the newspaper, and it becomes a means unto 
itself. That is what gives the entire stunt a veritable air of nonchalance and fairness. 

The other important point is the ease with which it may be done and the fact that the performer has little to get 
ready. He can purchase a paper on the way to his engagement and use it with but two minutes of perusal. Or, if 
desired to perform the feat impromptu, he may use a paper at hand with no more than two minutes of 
preparation. Professionals will appreciate this point. 

Effect: A copy of the daily newspaper is shown, and the performer states that he will try a feat of telepathy with 
the classified advertising section. The paper is opened and one page of the classified ads is torn out and given to 
a member of the audience to hold. 

Now the performer says he will have one of the ads selected in an open and obviously fair manner. So saying, he 
holds the newspaper in front of him and, with one motion, tears off the upper right corner of the entire paper. 
This includes all the pages and also all the numbered corners of the paper to which he calls attention. 

Laying the paper aside, the packet of corners is tossed into a borrowed hat or bowl and mixed well by anyone. 
The performer asks this person to reach in without looking, to select just one of the comers, crumple it up small 
and drop it on his (performer's) hand. The performer in turn hands it directly to the person holding the torn-out 
page, and then walks to a far corner of the room. This person is told to look at the selected corner. On both sides 
of this corner will be a number. He is to select either number and use that to count across the page to a column. 
Then he is to use the other number and count down that column to an individual ad. He now concentrates upon 
the wording and subject matter of this ad, and calls out when he is ready. The performer returns and effectively 
reveals what the ad is all about even if not able to give the wording in its exact form. 

Preparation: The effect always wins applause because of its directness. Previously the performer has torn out a 
corner, it being, for instance, the comer bearing the page numbers 5 and 6. Turning to the page that he will 
remove later and which contains nothing but classified ads, he reads the sixth ad in column five and the fifth ad 
in column six. The main thing is merely to know what it is about and not bother to learn it word for word. 

In his pocket he carries the well known and respected thumb tip. Into this he puts this stolen corner after 
crumpling it up into a pellet. 

Routine: Now the effect proceeds as described. The corner selected is crumpled up small by the spectator and 
placed on the performer's outstretched left palm. While this is being done, the performer secures the thumb tip on 
his right thumb. In going to the person holding the page of the newspaper, the right thumb is placed over the 
pellet on the left palm, the left fingers close and the right thumb comes out with the stolen pellet from inside the 
tip. This is handed to the spectator while the left hand pockets the tip and the other pellet as the performer walks 
away. He watches the spectator from a distance while the counting is done and therefore knows which of the two 
ads has been selected. Newspapers have columns on both sides of the page and both sides line up with each 
other. It only remains for you to give as impressive a description of the ad as you are capable of delivering. 
Properly presented this test is most convincing. 



Natural looking methods for the selection of a book page and word are seldom seen. With the following method, 
the principle of a recent illusion, and an older die and frame trick, has been brought into play, and provides a 
perfect way of getting to the proper page. 

Effect: The mentalist makes either a prediction on a slate, or cleans two slates for a spirit message. The slate or 
slates are laid aside, and a book or dictionary shown. A length of ribbon is picked up and handed to a spectator. 
The performer holds the book and the spectator holds an end of the ribbon in each hand. He brings it over the 
pages of the book which the performer is holding by the ends, and is told to pull the ribbon down between the 
pages somewhere near the center. The slate is picked up and the book is handed to someone. This person opens 
the book at the ribbon, adds the page numbers together on the left hand side, and counts down to that word. If is 
the word prophecied by the mentalist; or written by the spirits on the inside of one of the two slates! 

Preparation: There is a bit of preparation and practice necessary for this feat, but those who try it will have a 
stunt that can be done anywhere with a moment's study of any book. 

Get a spool of spring steel piano wire No. 3 at any large music store for ten cents. Cut off a piece of wire several 
inches longer than the book. At one end of the wire twist a loop, and through it stick the other end of the wire. 
This will make a noose which can be pulled fairly tight. On the other end of the wire fasten a small ring of thin 
stiff wire of such a size as to fit over the end of your finger. Paint the wire and loop either flesh color or black. 
You will also require a piece of ribbon about two or three inches longer than the book, and about half an inch 

Lay the wire between two pages of the book, off center towards the back. The running loop is out at one end. and 
the ring at the lower end. The wire should be long enough, so that when you have a loop about three- quarters of 
an inch in diameter at the top, the ring at the other end is against the pages at the bottom of the book. 

Note the page number figures on the left hand page, add them together and count down to the word on the page 
represented by the total of the page number. Either write this word on a slate and cover it with a flap, or make a 
straight prediction. 

Routine: If working a prediction, pick up the slate, write the name of the forced word and lay the slate on the 
table or chair, writing side down. If working this as a spirit test, show the two slates to be blank, place them 
together so that the flap will fall onto the lower slate and lay them on the table. Thus, by picking up the top slate 
later, you can show the word written by the spirits. 

Bring forward the book, holding it with your right hand at the outer edge (edge nearest audience: loop end) and 
riffling the pages as you do so. Riffle through before a spectator, stopping however before coming to the pages 
with the wire between them. Have the ribbon in your left coat pocket. Hand it to someone. Hold the book 
between your hands, each hand covering one end of the wire. Ask the person with the ribbon to insert it 
anywhere between the pages. As he does so, pull the book slightly towards you so that the ribbon goes in ahead 
of the wire. 

Now step back and explain what has been done. As you do so, stand with your left side somewhat towards the 
audience and with both hands holding the book. The end of the book from which the loop projects is away from 
the audience, and your fingers slip the end of the ribbon through the loop! When you say, "And on the slates on 
my table," you swing sharply to the left (table should be on your left) and, at the same time, your left hand with 
the book moves away from your right. The right hand with the loop remains stationary. This action pulls the 
ribbon around and in between 

the pages where the wire lies. The sharp pull also drags the ribbon through and out the other end. and the wire 
slips off the ribbon! As you swing left and the wire comes loose, pick up the slates with your right hand and drop 
the wire on the table. Bring the slates forward, and hand the book to someone. And that's all there is to it! 

Sometimes the pull does not bring the end of the ribbon free at the top of the book. It remains between the pages. 
If this happens, pull it out with a flip of the finger as you look for someone to take the book. Be sure the table is 
close by so that it requires only a turn of your body to pick up the slates. And remember that the right hand 
remains still, only the left hand moving away. 

This has been tested. The ribbon is never seen in its flight, the swing of the body and hands concealing 
everything. It is strictly a method which requires practice, rhythm and confidence. No one will suspect that the 
ribbon in the book is changed to an entirely different spot! And when the spectator takes it to look up the word, 
the book and the ribbon are unprepared! 

40,000 WORDS 


Effect: The performer introduces a pocket dictionary. The spectator looks through it, has a free choice of any 
one of the thousands of words, then writes his selection on a card. This card is inserted momentarily in the 
dictionary. After a moment of concentration, the spectator removes the card 

and places it in his pocket. He then hands the dictionary to the performer who opens it and immediately 
announces the chosen word and reads its definition. 

Preparation: The working is simple, and there is ample misdirection to cover the few necessary moves. The 
secret lies in the use of a second dictionary, unknown to the audience. The type used by me is about 3 inches by 
6 inches, with the cover title "Webster Dictionary — 40, 000 words." The duplicate is mutilated by cutting out a 
section from every inside page and the back cover — in other words, your dictionary has a complete cover but the 
balance of the book has a window through its middle. The illustration will make it clear. 

Several visiting cards are also required. They should be of such a size that when one is inserted in the sides of the 
book, as per the illustration, about one-quarter of an inch protrudes. The size of the window in the book really is 
governed by the card's size. The idea, of course, is that when a card is inserted, a glance through the window will 
reveal whatever is written on the card. Have a pencil at hand, and of course, the legitimate dictionary. 

Here's the set-up: In the right coat pocket is the gimmicked dictionary — in your left coat pocket have the cards. I 
don’t care where you keep the pencil. The presentation should be casual throughout. 

Routine: Start by saying that the average person, when asked on the spur of the moment to think of a word, finds 
it difficult to think of a real hard one. He may suggest "house" or "rabbit," but offhand will never think of 
"muscovado" or anything like "ethnographic." So that your audience may have an opportunity of choosing a 
really difficult word, one that even may be a headache for you, you will use one of Webster's pocket dictionaries. 
Explain that the spectator who is to assist is to take the dictionary, run through it till he finds a word that suits 
him, and then read its definition so as to impress the word firmly on his mind. Next he is to write it upon a card, 
which you hand him. 

Ask him to turn the card with the writing down, and at the same time you retrieve the dictionary. Don't mention 
this action — don't mention the dictionary at all — keep talking about the word he has written. During the talk 
casually place the dictionary in your coat pocket and instantly come out with the gimmicked one. You are 
looking at and talking to the spectator. If anyone notices your hand and the book he should get the impression 
that you tried to insert the book into your pocket, and, finding it difficult, have placed it aside — which you do. 

Still talking to the spectator you walk away from where you have placed the gimmicked book, and try to get an 
impression of the chosen word. You fail, after a couple of attempts. Picking up the book you ask the spectator to 
insert the card, writing side down, somewhere between the pages. Be careful not to expose the back of the book 
during this time. 

Turn the book on its edge and quickly steal a glance at the written word, which you can read easily through the 
book's window. As you turn the dictionary around, still apparently looking at the edge, you say, "I see you've 
inserted the card at about where the letter R starts (or mention whatever other letter the word may begin with). 
Immediately return the card to the spectator and say, "That’s a bit of unconscious help you've given me — I know 
the word begins with that letter, and as there are only 8,000 words beginning with R it narrows my field 

At this point you open the dictionary, still being careful not to flash the back or cut pages, and look up the word 
you now know. If it isn't there, due to the cut-out pages, you know it so can name it just the same. If it should be 
there, then the best presentation is to give the name and read the definition. At the conclusion put dictionary in 
your pocket, or switch back and leave it around. 

As you pocket the dictionary, or to cover the exchange, you can say, "I'm glad you picked that word, sir. Last 
evening a fellow picked the word "nothing" and when I asked him to concentrate he had "nothing" on his mind. 
It made it extremely difficult for me." 



I have found this effect to be a perfect follow-up to Sid Lorraine's "40,000 Words" just described. No extra book 
is needed, and the immediate repetition of the word test with someone else will upset no little those who try to 
check up on your actions. 

Effect: A ten-cent store pocket dictionary is given a person for a free selection of a single word from any place 
within its covers. The performer takes back the book and gives the spectator a slip of paper, 2 inches by 2 inches 
in size. The word is written down, for, as the performer says, "I don't want you to think of one of the remaining 
39,999 words in there." The spectator then is to fold the paper once each way, making it one-quarter of its 
original size. 

In the meantime you have put the dictionary into your upper left vest pocket out of the way, and your hands are 
empty. Next appear to concentrate and pace around a bit. Mention the letter "e". "It's in the word?" The chance is 
good. Try another, asking the person to visualize the word, and, if possible, its meaning. If it hits try another. The 
moment you fail, take out the dictionary and glance through it, telling the subject to remember exactly what he 
did. Suddenly you stop and read a definition. It fits his word. You reveal the word. 

Preparation: The secret of this seemingly impossible feat lies in your breast pocket. For it is in this pocket 
during the effect that you tuck the spectators folded paper. The drawing shows that about one inch below the top 
edge of the pocket is a slit which has been cut through the coat, and the edges sewn with a buttonhole stitch. 
Thus any paper pushed down into the pocket goes through the slit and also into the dictionary which is in your 
vest pocket. The dictionary protrudes just enough from the upper left vest pocket to receive the paper perfectly. 

The details of the pocket are shown in the drawing, and are as follows: 

A — Pocket handkerchief in pocket proper, and behind which, also in pocket proper, is a dummy folded slip of 

B — Top edge of breast pocket on coat. 

C — Slit through inside of coat one inch below top edge of pocket. Finish edges with buttonhole stitching. D — 
Outline of vest pocket, upper left side. 

E — Dictionary in vest pocket ready to receive slip through slit. (This isn't exactly shown as the book generally 
will protrude above the pocket and offer more ease in the placing of the paper.) 

Routine: Proceed with the trick as already described and have the the spectator write a word on the paper square 
and fold it. Take back the dictionary and place it in your upper left vest pocket. Now take the folded paper, 
glance around a bit, as though at a loss where to put it, and then push it down into your breast pocket behind the 
handkerchief. The paper, of course, goes right through the slit in your pocket and into the dictionary as already 

When you remove the book for further aid, it is only necessary to open at the spot where the paper is and you'll 
be surprised to find how simple it is to open the folds with your thumbs. Only a glance is needed and you 
continue to run through the book until you find that word. Just leave the paper where it was. 

With the book in your hand, after the revelation, take out a dummy slip from your breast pocket and apparently 
verify the word. Fold the dummy and put it into the dictionary which you place in your pocket. In case the slip is 
requested you need only open the book and give back the original slip. 

It may be well merely to read from the book without mentioning the word, and say, "Does the definition fit what 
you are thinking about?" Then reach into your pocket, open the dummy slip, and apparently read the word. 

him to keep it or lay it aside, as the case may be. If he gives you the force book in the first two, ask him to take 
one back. He uses the book he takes or puts it with the others, and the one left with you is used. 

"Now you pick up the deck of cards and slowly overhand shuffle it with the faces of the cards towards the 
spectator. The prepared cards, bearing the lists, are at the back of the deck, and these are held back with seven or 
eight others and are dropped as a bunch on the back of the pack as you finish the shuffle. As you make this 
shuffle, you explain several times that you want the spectator to have an absolutely free selection of a card. That 
you are going to riffle the cards very slowly and he is to insert his finger in the deck anywhere and take any card 
he pleases. 

"Hold the deck up vertically and pass the cards from left to right hand, showing that they have been well mixed. 
Then square up the deck and illustrate the riffle, doing it slowly. When the spectator understands what he is to 
do, riffle the deck once more and have him insert his finger in the end of the deck. Stop riming at this point and 
ask him if he would care to change his mind, or if he is satisfied with the card he has his finger on. If he wants to 
change his mind riffle once more and finally have him withdraw a card. All this convinces the audience that your 
subject has had a free choice in the fairest way possible. 

"The card he gets, however, is a force card because you are using one of Donald Holmes' forcing decks. This 
consists of a deck made up of triplets. Each triplet consists of two cards hinged together at one end, the face card 
of the pair being shorter than the rear card, and in between is a single loose short card. There are seventeen of 
these triplets. The loose card, in between, are all duplicates, and it is one of these duplicates which you force in 
the manner outlined above. My force card is a Five Spot. Riffling such a deck, face down, allows the cards to 
slip by your finger in threes, and the spectator's finger can only go in and pull out one of the force cards. Such a 
deck may be freely fanned, faces out, and also overhand shuffled, face out, to show all the cards different. 

"When the card is selected you step over to a far corner of the room and ask spectator to name the page number 
of the first page in the book where the reading starts, as well as the number on the last page of the book he has 
selected. Then he is asked to decide upon any number between the first and last page numbers and call it out for 
all to hear. During all this instruction, you have been standing in the corner with your back turned to the 
audience. As soon as he names a page, fan the deck of cards which you still hold and locate the list card for the 
page he has just named. Tell him to open to the page he has selected and, using the card he holds as a bookmark, 
to count down to the line on that page that corresponds to the value of his card. When he has located the line, he 
is to read it to himself. Long before he has done all this, you have discovered the line for yourself on the slip 

"Put the hand holding the force deck in your pocket and, as you turn to face the audience, switch the force deck 
for the ordinary deck. Bring this latter deck out of your pocket and absentmindedly lay it on a nearby table for 
the future inspection as anyone who cares to examine it. Now slowly reveal certain words in the selected line, in 
a mixed up order, and finally give the whole line complete with as much showmanship as you are able to 
muster. " 



"Before you begin concentrating," says the performer, "I'll write something for you, something that may occur in 
the near future, an event, or happening over which I have no possible control." 

Such is the general opening remark to the type of trick which has been ever popular with mystery workers and 
audiences. The prophecy of occurrence — whether it is a number to be thought of, a word to be pictured, or a 
playing card to be chosen. 

In studying prognostication effects, two basic principles have been found to be useful. First, carbon paper for 
impressions via pencilled reference notes, or its counterpart, the thumb nail or thumb tip stylus secretly used for 
the same purpose, and the graphite thumb nail writer for writing secret notations upon the unsealed surface of a 
card, billet, etc. Haden's Swami Holdout, either in the stylus or pencil lead style, will be found excellent for 
introducing the nail writer for use without fumbling. Haden's DeLuxe Swami nail writer, which writes with a 
bolder stroke is a more recent improvement. These may be obtained from any of the leading magic dealers. 

The second principle, and the one with which this chapter will deal, is the Pocket Index File. Such Indexes, when 
loaded and placed in your trouser pockets, provide a quickly accessible set of indexed billets covering all 
possible selections for the effect being presented. All that is necessary is to finger palm the proper billet and 
substitute it for the dummy prophecy which you apparently write before the event or the selection has taken 
place. To do this, the dummy is dropped into a hat or a bowl and then palmed out. Later the correct paper, 
obtained from one of the indexes, is introduced into the container as the latter is picked up and handed to a 
spectator. Magicians have differed as to the construction of indexes, and most have been impractical. For proof, 
the reader has only to wonder why he hasn't used the principle, and whether or not he knows someone who did 
use it. From here on. I'll attempt to make very clear, and very attractive, what I've done with pocket indexes, and 

Over 15 years ago A1 Baker conceived the idea of substituting a set of 52 paper billets, each bearing the name of 
a different card, for a full deck of playing cards in the then popular pocket indexes. Herbert Brooks was in the 
United States featuring the effect of producing any card called for from his pocket, after shuffling a deck, cutting 
it in two halves and placing a half in each trouser pocket. The idea was a happy one, but no one ever seemed to 
make anything of it. The card indexes were themselves too big for paper billets, and while the initial use of 
indexes did not hide the fact that one was getting something from his pocket, the use of such gadgets for secretly 
obtaining paper billets entailed too much fumbling for the misdirection possible in a mental effect. That's my 
answer as to why "pocket prophecy" tricks have not been among the popularly used subterfuges. 

A year or so later, I received a letter from the late Bob Gysel suggesting the idea of a special billet index. I 
immediately made up a set of indexes to hold and deliver quickly 52 separate paper billets. I used what was 
handy and followed, as closely as I knew, the principle of the Brook's indexes. This original set of indexes 
served me well, for it was almost six years later in New York that I finally had to make a new set. There were 
but two minor changes that I made after using the originals constantly, and I might say here that frankly I can't 
remember an engagement when I haven't used an index of some sort. 

Thus, after 14 years of constant use, I honestly think that what I have to say here about pocket indexes is the last 
word to date. In that time I would say that the two sets that I made have seen use in over 700 shows. Up until 
February, 1940, only three people have looked at my indexes. I thought too much of them. And those three 
people were members of my immediate family, for even Mr. Baker never saw them. Of late, there has been a 
very definite increase of interest in indexes and pocket "pick-outs." So I'll explain herewith how to prepare the 
indexes that have served me so well, and also a few of the very best effects I could evolve during recent years. 


Let's take up the mechanics of the indexes first. With that out of the way, effects and possibilities can be covered 

You will need a pack of cards of regulation size, not bridge size. They do not have to be new, but on the other 
hand they should not be too old either. It is preferable to use cards of good linen quality, too, rather than the 
cheap paper type, for once made up you will want your indexes to last for as long a time as possible. 

Other tools and accessories are a ticket punch, scissors, ruler, three paper fasteners of the type about three- 
quarters of an inch long with shanks that spread out, and a box of paper fasteners of the V-type that fold over the 
end of papers and then are pinched together. A paste pot and a hammer complete the workshop tools. 

The indexes are the size of a playing card and we'll take up the making of one. Both are exactly alike. 

First cut up enough cards to make 13 pieces each measuring 3/4 inch by 2 1/2 inches. One card will make four 
such pieces, the playing cards in a regular size pack being 3 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches. At 3/8 of an inch from 
one of the long sides, and equally spaced, punch three holes for insertion of the shank clips later on. These 3/4 of 
an inch strips arc to be used as "in betweens" for holding papers later, and are important. 

Now there are 14 index parts to cut, each one different from the other. Keep cards in front of you during this 
description, check it all with the illustration, and we'll call the nearest (to you) end of the cards the bottom — the 
far end, the top. 

Take the first card and cut it cleanly across just two inches up from the bottom. 

Take the second card — cut it across from left to right — two inches from the bottom, but leave a tab on its right 
edge — just three-quarters of an inch long and one-quarter of an inch high. 

Take the third card, cut it across from left to right — two inches from the bottom, but leave a tab on its right edge 
three-quarters of an inch long. This tab is twice as high as the first — one-half inch. 

The fourth card — its tab is the same width, but it is one-quarter of an inch higher than the tab on the third card. 
The fifth card — its tab is one -quarter inch higher than that on the fourth. 

The sixth card — its tab is one-quarter inch higher than that on the fifth. 

The seventh card — its tab is the length of the card. 

Please keep in mind when looking at the illustration that the numbers shown there are indicators of playing card 
values and that we are one ahead of those in detailing the cutting of the index cards. 

The eighth card ( seven on the sketch) has its three-quarter-inch long and one-quarter-inch high tab in the center. 

Beginning with the ninth card (eight on the sketch) the tabs are found on the left side of each card. Each is one- 
quarter inch higher than the last, and and this continues through the 13th (Q on sketch) card. The last, or 14th (K 
on sketch) card is left intact and it acts as a backing to protect the rest of the index cards and tabs. 

Next, at the bottom of these 14 cards, and at the same positions as was done with the small "in between" strips, 
punch three holes. 

— V— 

Then comes the assembly. Put the three shank clips through the first square cut (no tab) card and lay it on the 
table so the shanks are sticking upward. Onto these three shanks you put the remaining 26 punched pieces. 
First — a narrow strip — then the second card (Ace tab) — next a narrow 

strip — then the third (2 tab) card — a narrow strip — fourth (3 tab) card — and so on until finally the whole (K) 
card completes the pile. 

The shanks are now bent apart and pounded flat with the hammer. You can hurt only the table and your thumb so 
don't be afraid to make it all very secure. 

The last operation is to use the V shape clips on the edges of the tabs as shown on the Ace tab in the sketch. Each 
tab gets two. These were a later improvement to protect the edges and make them much easier to count in the 

Now for the loading. Upon 52 pieces of paper, 2 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches square, are written the names of the 
cards in a deck. Keep the suits separate. Fold the paper slips once each way. Each index is made up to contain all 
black or all red. Two of these slips, each representing an Ace, go into the first section of the index in front of the 
Ace tabbed card, and are pushed in in between that card and the narrow binder strip at the bottom. Without that 
strip the indexes are not worth a cent as holders. Keep all the Hearts on one side and all of the Diamonds on the 
other. Then fix the other index in the same manner using the black cards. Don't mind if the newly filled index 
flares out like a stuffed fan. It takes a week or so pressed tightly before they close down as much as they will. 

Two such indexes placed together with tab sides inward and in a reversed position to each other are just about 
the thickness of a pack of cards. Keep them in a heavy telescopic type of card case. That holds them flat and 
protects them. 

In your trousers pockets, the tab sides are towards the body, and the thumbs do the finding. Any paper can be 
found with a maximum of three counts — from top down, or bottom up in either tab row. The thumb is pushed 
into the opening and it forces out whichever paper is wanted. 

And that's the most practical paper holder I've yet to see or try out. It lays flat in the pocket and holds the largest 
size paper slip of any. Blocks of wood with holes in them may be all right for up to 10 papers, but not more than 
that, and they are not any too good then. The index for Zingone’s Dual Prophecy trick was worthy of ten years in 
the bastile. The papers were tiny and you had to be an accomplished piano accordionist to find your place. 
Besides you always were knocking others out of place. 


The indexes are filled with papers bearing names of cards. The performer asks a spectator to shuffle an ordinary 
deck, and while this is taking place the performer writes something on a slip of paper, folds it, and drops it into a 
hat, or cup. However, he finger-palms the slip, on which he has written "Joker." The spectator is asked to think 
of a card, then to remove it from the deck and place it on the table, face up. A few seconds are taken up with 
queries as to whether the spectator was "made" to take any particular card. The proper paper has meanwhile been 
secured, and that hand picks up the hat or cup with fingers inside (dropping the paper) and offers it to someone. 
This person removes, opens, and reads the prophecy. 

This effect also can be worked as pure mindreading by having the person think of the card before the performer 


This was my own combination of the indexes with the "Two Souls" trick of A1 Baker's. It eliminated the 
necessity of counting. The indexes are loaded with papers reading, "The gentleman will get the — (name of card) 
— ."A deck is stacked with your favorite system of arrangement. Approach a lady, false shuffling the cards. Put 
them on her hand and ask her to keep her mind a blank while you write something for her. Scribble anything on a 
piece of paper, fold, and pretend to put it in a hat or bowl. Finger-palm it out. 

Now tell her to give the deck a cut. Then she is to look at the top card and push it anywhere into the deck and 
square them up. Take the deck from her and hand it to a nearby gentleman. He is to shuffle the cards while you 
write something for him. However, you have glimpsed the bottom card and therefore know at what card the lady 
has looked. On another piece of paper you now write, "The lady will choose the — (writing the name of the card 
she did take) — ." Fold and openly drop into the hat. Now have the gentleman choose a card in the same manner. 

Ask him the name of his card, at the same time reminding him that you have written something for each of them 
before they acted. When he names his card, turn and ask the lady the name of her card. This gives you the 
necessary ten-second stall, during which time you secure the paper billet bearing the name of the gentleman's 
card from the index. Then pick up the hat, drop the paper inside with the other billet and have someone else 
reach in, pick them out and read them. 

A variation here is to let each person keep his card. Then they not only name them but show them as well, and 
are allowed to keep both cards and paper prophecies as souvenirs. 


This is really my reason for writing this chapter. I couldn't explain the trick correctly without describing the 
index, so I figured I might just as well cover as much as possible. 

Years ago Walter Gibson thought up a clever trick wherein you handed a deck of cards to a person to be 
shuffled, or he could use his own deck if he preferred. Following the shuffle, the spectator turned the deck face 
up and separated the cards, one at a time, into two heaps, one heap consisting of all the red cards, the other of all 
the black cards. These heaps were then turned face down, and he picked up one heap. He turned up the two top 
cards of the heap he held, added together the values of both cards, and then counted down to the card resting at 
that number in the other heap on the table. While this was going on, the performer wrote a prediction and laid it 
on the table, under a book, vase, etc. When the spectator reached the card he was counting to, he withdrew it and 
showed it to all. Then the performer's prediction was opened and read and was found to be correct! Remember, 
this was done impromptu without the performer touching the deck and. as we mentioned at the start, it could be 
the spectator's own deck. 

The secret lay in the fact that the cards were dealt single into face up piles. The performer stood watching and 
noted the first two cards dealt into 

either heaps. Quickly totaling the values of both of these cards, the performer then counted the cards falling on 
the other heap until he spotted the card in that heap which hit the preferred position! During the rest of the 
dealing, he busied himself writing the name of this card on a slip, which he then folded and laid on the table. 
After the spectator had finished separating the cards and had turned the two piles face down, he was asked to 
pick one up. If he picked up the pile whose two top cards you had used for your tally, he was asked to take the 
two top cards and add their values together. If he picked up the other pile, he was asked to put it in his pocket for 
the moment so that it couldn't be tampered with. Then he was told to turn the two cards on top of the other pile 
on the table. Finally he counted down in the proper pile to the number he had and looked at your force card. 
This, of course, corresponded with your prediction. 

Now imagine this improvement due to your use of the indexes. The spectator shuffles his own deck while you 
write a prophecy (dummy) and drop it in a cup on the table. Of course, you palm it out. Then the dealing is done 
as explained above. The moment you leant what card is set in the deck, you have plenty of time to secure the 
correct billet from your indexes, drop this billet into the cup as you pick it up and move it closer to the dealer, or 
hand it to someone else to hold. 

Thus everything is done before the spectator is through dealing. You have apparently written your prophecy 
before any dealing was done, and another spectator is holding the correct billet before anyone sees the card that 
is chosen, apparently by chance. No one could ask for anything cleaner than that! 


Two predictions are written, each on a slip of different color. They are dropped into a hat. Two spectators count 
down to a number mutually agreed upon and note the cards arrived at. The predictions, both of which were 
written and dropped into the hat before the pack was handed out, prove to be correct. 

The Meyer method excludes indexes and makes use of but ten pieces of paper, each bearing the name of one of 
the ten Hearts. They are in order and held together with a paper clip so that the Ace side of the packet can be told 
in the pocket. The ten Heart cards of the deck are arranged from Ace to Ten from back to face of the deck and an 
indifferent card placed between each. An indifferent card is placed on top also which leaves the ten Heart cards 
at even numbered positions. The deck has a short card at the bottom, and the performer notes and remembers the 
indifferent card on top. 

After a false shuffle and cut the deck is handed to one of two spectators. Pick up a white slip of paper (the set in 
the right trouser pocket is white also), look at the man with the deck and write something (anything) on the slip. 
Fold it and drop it in full view near the hat. Look at the second person and pick up the colored slip. On this you 
write the name of the indifferent card now on top of the pack. Fold this paper and drop into the hat. Then pick up 
the white slip and pretend to put that in also, but finger-palm it instead. 

The person holding the pack is asked to name aloud any number from 1 to 20. No matter what is called the 
performer will cause one of the Hearts to be selected. For instance, in the case of 1 1, the performer would ask the 
helper to count off 1 1 cards, one at a time (reversing them), then look at the next card, and place it also on the 
counted-off pile. Had 12 been named, 12 cards would have been counted off, and then the last or twelfth card 
looked at and replaced. In either event, a Heart card at one of the even numbers is forced, and by halving the 
number the performer knows the identity of the card looked at. 

The helper now drops the remainder of the pack onto the dealt-off pile and gives the deck a couple of cuts. The 
performer takes the deck, gives it another cut and brings the short card to the bottom again. Then it is given to 
the second assistant to count off the same number of cards as the first man did (11), look at the next, etc. The 
second man always is told to do exactly what the first man was told to do, and this automatically forces the 
original top card of the pack. 

During this last procedure the performer's right hand, holding the palmed slip, has gone to the pocket, dropped it, 
and removed the clip from the packet of papers so that the Ace side is against the thumb. From here on it is a 
simple matter to thumb off papers to the proper one, and this is finger-palmed. 

With the second card noted, the performer reaches into the hat, pushes the palmed slip to the fingertips, picks up 
the colored slip already there, brings out the hand with the two slips showing, and hands the correct one to each 
person. Of course, everything turns out to be perfect, and everything stands examination. 

For those who can make a pellet switch by hand (see Billet Switching, page 1 1) the two original papers (dummy 
white one and correct colored one) can be left in full view on the table throughout. At the last moment, with the 
correct slip finger-palmed, make a straight switch for the white one in handing it to the assistant. 

We know that numbers 7, 13 or 17 will be named more often than others. In the above effect these would 
represent the 8th, 14th, or 18th cards, or the 4, 7 or 9 of Hearts. By writing the name of one of these cards on the 
first slip, if one is using the sleight of hand switch, quite often it will not be necessary to make any switch at all ! 


Mr. Meyer's system of stacking the cards was contained in the Buckley effect of about 20 years ago. However, 
his handling of the papers is much simpler and as practical as was the block of wood with holes in it. Also, Mr. 
Meyer dispensed with the idea of having a number on one paper to tell the subsequent location of the selected 
card, changing this part to make possible the prediction of two cards rather than one. 

Now we can take the Buckley idea and use it in conjunction with a full set of 52 billets via our pocket indexes, 
predicting a card to be selected by one person and also predicting the position it will be in the deck afterwards. 

The deck is stacked a la Si Stebbins, or in the "Eight King" fashion. The suits rotate over and over in your 
favorite order. Now you have to practice a little behind the back subtlety. Give each of your right four fingers the 
name of a suit, using the order in which your cards are stacked. Now touch each finger In turn with the thumb of 
the same hand, over and over, saying to yourself only the values of the cards as stacked — A, 4, 7, 10, K, 3, 6, 9, 
Q, 2, 5, 8, J, A, 4, etc., or 8, K, 3, 10, 2, 7, 9, 5, Q, 4, A, 6, J, 8, K, 3, etc., depending upon which system you use. 
Whenever you stop, you note which finger your thumb is then touching and that tells you the suit. Thus you are 
able to run through a stacked deck in your mind as fast as your thumb can count. 

False shuffle and cut the deck a couple of times. Note the bottom card as you place the deck before a spectator. 
That tells you the top card's identity, the place from where he will start counting off. Now write upon the colored 
slip, "and the card will be found 14th from the top of the shuffled deck." Scribble anything on the white piece of 
paper. Fold both and drop into the container, finger-palming out the white one. 

Now ask the spectator to think of any number from 1 to 52. Then he is to start dealing the cards off, one at a 
time, onto the table so as to make no error, and when he reaches his card he is to look at it. You are standing with 
hands behind back during this and, knowing the first card, you easily keep pace with the dealing and when he 
stops you know his card immediately. He then is told to show it to one or two people nearby, and finally to 
shuffle it back into the deck. 

This provides ample time for you to secure and palm the proper paper slip, drop it into the container as you hand 
it to someone to hold, and then you pick up the deck. Say, "I want you to be certain 1 haven't done something of 
a tricky nature and taken your card away. You must be sure that it remains in the pack, and that no one but you 
and a couple of friends are aware of its identity." As you talk you fan the deck through, standing beside him, 
watching the cards go by. As you reach his card you start counting and when you pass the 14th card, including 
his, hold a break in the pack, and continue on. He says that his card is still there. You cut the deck at the break 
and give it to someone to hold. 

The white paper is read first. It correctly names the card. Then the second paper is read. The climax comes when 
a spectator counts down to that number and finds the chosen pasteboard. And the helper will always swear he 
shuffled the deck very thoroughly afterwards and no one even touched it! 


This effect is proof of the date when my indexes were in constant use. In the Sphinx for May, 1926, was 
published a note from me asking priority claim to the effect. No method was given. A miniature revolving ballot 
box of the standard type (screening around the drum to leave contents visible) contained wooden counters of the 
Lotto type numbered from 1 to 50. It could be turned by a small crank. It was entirely unprepared. The performer 
would attempt to forecast a drawing of a number, and would ask a committee which draw (first, second, third, 
etc.) would be for the highest prize. 

On a slip of paper the magician would then write something, seal it in a letter envelope, and stand it somewhere 
in full view. The drawings would then be made in all fairness, and the prediction would be found to be correct! 

Needless to say, the pocket indexes were loaded with paper slips reading, "High prize will be won by number 
...." Twenty-five different slips would be in each index. As you may have surmised, the action of picking 
numbers in this case is short and to the point. Consequently, a bit of additional action is necessary to balance 
this, so you add to the pretense of making and revealing the prophecy. In most tricks this is not necessary, but 
here it is of vital importance, and fortunately you are able to cope with it in a very simple way. 

Merely have a letter size envelope in your inside coat pocket. Write the prophecy and fold it once each way. 
Hold it in your right hand while the left hand removes the envelope from your pocket. The paper slip apparently 
is placed inside the envelope, but actually it is only pushed under the left thumb which rests on the outside of the 
envelope on the side facing you. The flap is moistened and sealed. The right hand now pulls the envelope away 
and stands it up in view, while the left hand drops to your side or pocket with the dummy slip. 

After the drawing, and when you have palmed the correct paper slip from your indexes, pick up the envelope 
with the hand that has the slip finger palmed. The other hand tears off the end of the envelope, and immediately 
takes hold of the envelope by the long sides as you would do naturally, when raising it up to blow into it. The 
moment it opens, the fingers of the hand holding the palmed slip grasp the open end of the envelope. The fingers 
go inside, dropping the slip to the bottom of the envelope, while the thumb remains on the outside. Having thus 
grasped the envelope, this hand takes it and reaches out towards a committeeman, as you say, "Hold your hand 
out, please." You turn the envelope open end downwards and shake out the slip onto the person's palm. Say, 
"Will you read aloud the prophecy I made while the numbers were being mixed?" Crumple up and toss aside the 
envelope, as you finish with, "And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why 1 never take chances or bet on events of 
any kind. I always have to lose, to prove that I'm honest." 


That just about winds up my ideas regarding the pocket index principle. I know my indexes are practical for they 
have aided me to make a living for a long time. I know, too, that each reader will immediately try to improve 
them, and I wish them luck because I can't. I honestly doubt if it ever will be feasible to have all the paper slips 
in one pocket index instead of two. There are certain restrictions that are not worth overcoming for other faults 
will then appear to annoy you. 

Outside of the realm of cards, one might play around with the idea of using slips containing first names. 26 male 
names and 26 female names of the most common type might be indexed, and used in conjunction with some 
other type of definite prophecy, such as a forced answer to a problem, etc. The system of two papers as used in 
the Lady and Gentleman effect could be used, and the effect presented as a combination of prophecy and mind- 
reading. The lady would be asked to think of her mother's or father's first 

name, a paper written (?), and a prophecy could then be made for the gentleman. He would be forced into the 
result desired, and the correct name for the lady secured from the index. With the common names the percentage 
of success would be high, and if the performer didn't have it in his pockets he would merely bring out the one 
closest to it depending upon the sound. Then he'd have the prophecy correct, and be very close on the 
mindreading, with the excuse that the lady didn't concentrate well enough but just thought of the name hazily. 

I suggest that all who do put this principle to work try and develop the ability to change the papers by pme 
sleight of hand rather than using a receptacle unless absolutely necessary. 



Effect: While a spectator shuffles his own deck, the performer writes a message on a slip of paper, folds it, and 
puts it some place in full view. A second spectator takes the deck, cuts it, and deals out six cards from any places 
in the pack. The performer picks up these face down cards, fans them, and allows a third person to select any one 
of them. The prediction slip is opened by the fourth spectator and read aloud. "One minute after this is written a 

card will be selected. It will be the of ." The chosen card is shown. The card of 

tomorrow has been named ! 

Feats of this nature usually are accomplished by pocket indexes or the use of a force. Both have their strong and 
weak points. With indexes the performer must know the name of the card before he can locate the proper billet. 
Should he desire the prediction read before the card is looked at, a force must take place, and he cannot allow 
much freedom in the deck's handling or the card's selection. This method combines both principles in such a way 
that the strong points are retained and weak points pared to a minimum. 

The deck is borrowed and shuffled freely by anyone. The spectator has a free choice of, first, six out of fifty- two, 
and then one out of six. The performer never touches the cards except for a brief moment when he fans them for 
the final selection. The prediction is read before anyone sees the chosen card. Psychologically this is very strong 
for it drives home the belief that the prediction was written before the card was chosen. Only five billets in a 
simple ready-made index are necessary, instead of 52 billets in bulky indexes. And, finally, once out of every 
three or four times no switch is necessary at all, the spectators opening and reading the prediction the performer 
actually wrote. 

Preparation: The left trousers pocket contains five slips predicting five different cards, folded and arranged in a 
paper match folder as shown in the accompanying sketch. The right trouser pocket contains six cards which you 
have "stolen" from the deck during other tricks. Five of them match the index predictions and the sixth may be 
any other card. They are in a predetermined order, are bridged at one end. and go into the pocket with the bridge 
up. Also have a small scratch pad of paper and a pencil. 

Routine: During the shuffle write your prediction using the name of the sixth card. Fold and place aside. As you 
tell the second person to cut and deal out six face down cards at random, put your right hand in your pocket and 
palm out the six cards there. Fie finishes and your right hand comes up to 

gather the cards, dropping the palmed ones on top. Square the cards in your left hand, cut at the bridge and move 
the top packet (new) of six downward a half inch, as in Figure No. 1. Insert the right forefinger between the two 
packets of six, at the top. Figure No. 2, and fan the six added cards between the thumb and forefinger, as in 
Figure No. 3. The dealt-off six will remain squared and hidden beneath this fan, as shown in Figure No. 4. 

If followed with cards in hand these simple directions will make everything clear. 

Your left hand goes to your pocket and makes ready to obtain the proper billet. Ask the spectator to touch any 
card in the fan. This done, accent the freedom of choice he is getting, and ask him if he wants to change his 
mind. This allows ample time for you to obtain the proper billet with the free hand in pocket, knowing the order, 
as you do, of the fanned face down cards. 

If he chooses the card whose name you actually have written on the exposed billet, forget the index. The trick is 
done, and the spectator can read it for himself. If that card has been placed third from the left in the fan of six the 
chances of its being chosen are nearly one in three since the end cards are almost never selected and. of the 
remaining four, the one just to the spectator's right of center is the most common choice. 

If the switch is necessary, have the spectator remove his chosen card and hold it face down. As he does this bring 
out the left hand with the billet finger palmed, square up the fanned cards, and drop them with the concealed 
packet on top of the deck. 

Pick up the exposed billet and switch it in any manner you prefer before you hand it to the spectator. The 
prediction is read. The man who holds the chosen card turns it up for all to see. That's the climax, because you 
never fail. 



Introduction by Annemann: I honestly believe that this one man miniature spirit cabinet routine is far beyond, 
in merit and effectiveness, anything yet conceived. Certainly the manifestations are out of the ordinary and Mr. 
James has managed to use several magical principles in a way not originally intended. The absence of 
complicated preparation will be found quite refreshing. The routine that follows will undoubtedly find wide use 
in the club programs of many performers. The act opens with a very strong effect, follows with a quick surprise 
item, then runs through three more effects and ends with a weird and startling climax. 

Introductory patter theme: "It is the firm belief of many people that walls of a room retain the impressions of 
violent or unusual incidents that have taken place within that room. People who last were seen in the best of 
Spirits and apparently with everything for which to live, have, after spending a portion of a night in such a room 
where, unknown to them, some distraught person once committed suicide, in turn re-enacted the tragedy in a 
manner identical with the first suicide. It is suggested that such individuals were psychic to a high degree and 
were influenced by the impressions retained in the walls of that particular room." 

Effect: The performer offers to demonstrate a few experiments that he has been conducting along that line. He 
introduces a box which, he claims, was made from material taken from the room of a house said to have been 
occupied for a number of years by a poltergeist.* The front of the cabinet has been replaced by a curtain that 
may be drawn back and forth on a rod to reveal or conceal the interior. The inside of the box is painted black. 
The top of the box is a hinged cover. On top of the box rests a skull and the whole is in full view on a slender 
and thin topped table. 

A bright red rubber ball is carelessly tossed to one end of the box and a drinking glass placed at the other end. 
The curtain is drawn for a few seconds. When the interior of the box is shown again, the red ball has been 

* Hereward Carrington describes this word as meaning literally, "Noisy Spirit." A house is said to be haunted by 
a poltergeist when bells are rung, furniture upset, crockery broken, etc., by no apparent, normal means. 

placed in the glass, apparently by a playful spirit. Any spectator may step forward, remove the glass and the ball, 
and examine both as well as the box! 

The inside of the box is concealed again by drawing the curtain. The top is raised and a handkerchief is tossed 
inside. The spectator, who has stood by, opens the curtains, removes the handkerchief and finds that a knot has 
been tied in the center of it. 

In each end of the box is a hole. In the center of the hinged lid is a screw-hook on the under side. A length of 
white cotton tape is folded in half and another spectator places a safety-pin through the tape about an inch from 
the doubled end. The tape is now threaded through the box with the ends protruding out of the holes. Someone in 
the audience lends his or her finger ring and it is hung onto the hook inside the box. The box is now turned with 
its curtain side away from the audience. The playful poltergeist's presence is invoked. A volunteer comes 
forward, grasps one end of the tape and draws it from the box. The borrowed ring actually is threaded on the 
middle of the tape and is held securely in place by the pin! The ring, still on the tape, is returned to the owner 
and the volunteer allowed to examine the cabinet. 

The cabinet is turned with the curtain side towards audience. A cellophane wrapper is removed from a cigar and 
the cigar is placed into the glass tumbler. When the tumbler is now put into the open cabinet the spook is found 
to be a tobacco addict, for the cigar is seen to smoke furiously. 

Lastly the lid of the cabinet is raised to accommodate a quart bottle of milk, which remains in full view of the 
audience. A straw is inserted in the bottle and the thirsty spook immediately imbibes a quantity of the fluid. The 
performer states, rather apologetically, that his poltergeistic friend always drinks a lot of milk at bed-time, and 
that now it will be necessary to cease manifestations. "Even spirits have to observe union hours," quips the 
performer as he takes his bow. 

Preparation: The box I use is a radio cabinet. It’s size is 7 x 7 x 17 inches. After using it for a long time I find 
the size just about right. The length may seem long to some, but the greater the distance between the glass 
tumbler and the rubber ball (first effect), which are placed in opposite corners of the cabinet, makes a very good 
looking stunt for the opener. 

The holes at each end are 1 1/4 inches in diameter. The size allows of the cord with ring being easily pulled 
through. The screw-hook is of a No. 5 size. This is in the exact center of the lid, on the inside, being in line with 
the holes in the cabinet's ends. The final bit of cabinet detail (the only bit of fakery) is a needle size hole in the 
lid about 2 1/2 inches from one end and at the center of the lid's width (or depth). The small hole will never be 

Routine of Effects in Order of Appearance 

THE BALL IN THE GLASS: The red rubber ball is 1 1/2 inches in diameter and made of sponge rubber. At the 
start of this routine there is a skull sitting upon the top of the cabinet. A thread, about 2 feet long is fastened to 
the skull and it runs down through the minute hole in the cabinet lid. The other end has been threaded through 
the ball. The ball has been placed into the glass and when the routine begins the glass and ball are sitting in the 

After the patter about poltergeists and the building of the cabinet, the glass is picked up and the ball rolled from 
the glass into the far corner of the box. The glass is placed at the other end (directly under the minute hole in the 
lid) and the curtain closed. 

At this time the performer seems to remember the presence of the skull which is on top of the cabinet. He picks it 
up with one hand as he relates the fact that it was found beneath the house occupied by the poltergeist. In 
stepping a bit forward, he causes the thread to be pulled which in 

turn causes red ball to be drawn against the lid of the cabinet. Pulling the thread just a bit more draws it through 
and out of the ball with the result that the ball falls directly downward into the glass! The skull is set aside and 
the performer invites a member of the audience to investigate the cabinet. Of course, he discovers nothing. 

THE KNOTTED HANDKERCHIEF: The familiar one-hand knot is made for this effect, when the handkerchief 
is thrown into the cabinet through the opened lid. The sleight, simple as it is, will be found described in many 
magic books, the latest description of it appearing in Hugard's "Silken Sorcery." At this point in the routine, 
psychology plays an important part. The audience is wondering about the ball's passage into the glass; the 
assisting spectator is worrying both about that puzzle as well as his unexpected prominence on the platform, 
therefore, so far as he is concerned, a bit of stage fright enters into the situation. 

THE RING ON THE TAPE: Following the incidental handkerchief bit, which helps subconsciously to create a 
feeling that strange powers are at work within the cabinet, we come to one of my original effects. 

The tape used is 1/2 inch wide and. if your box is of the same dimensions as mine, 40 inches long. After the tape 
is threaded through the box, the borrowed ring upon the hook, and the cabinet turned curtain-side away 

from the audience, the performer invokes the invisible prankster by rubbing his hands, as he says, inside the 
confines of the wooden walls. This patter allows of a few quick and very practical moves. 

1 . Remove the safety-pin and lay it on the bottom of the box. 

2. Take the ring off of the screw-hook. 

3. Loop the center of the tape and tuck it through the ring. 

4. Place the pin through the left side of the loop, thus formed, and the half of the tape that runs out through the 
left (to performer) hole of the box. 

5. Enlarge the loop and place it over the screw-hook as shown in illustration. Now when the left end (to 
performer) is pulled from the box, the ring is automatically threaded upon the tape and found to be pinned in the 

THE SMOKED CIGAR: The cigar is of wood and is sold as a novelty pencil. Hollow out one end and insert a 
piece of felt which, prior to the performance, is soaked in very strong liquid ammonia. When the cigar is 
properly loaded, wrap it in cellophane. The glass also has to be prepared. Before the performance, put six or 
eight drops of muriatic acid in the glass (the same one used for the opening) and swish it around a bit. 

To present, take the cigar from your pocket, unwrap it and drop it into the glass, open end downward. Place the 
glass immediately into the open cabinet where everyone can see it. In a few seconds, smoke begins to ascend 
from the glass in clouds. (A touch of novelty can be added here by tossing a box of matches into the glass with 
the cigar, in case the spirit hasn't any at the moment. Or you can treat the match box with ammonia and use a 
borrowed cigar.) 

DRINKING THE MILK: The reader should have recognized the DeMuth Milk Bottle trick, used here in an 
entirely new dress. The placing of the straw serves to release the vent disc and makes the "drinking of the milk" 
action automatic. 

However, for those who do not have the DeMuth bottle, an able and inexpensive substitute may be made. Herb 
Rungie just inserts a small white-rubber ballon into a milk bottle and partly inflates it. Now push the balloon 
down to the bottom, and fill the bottle with milk. Take an ordinary drinking straw and load it with a thin wooden 
stick. Insert the point of a darning needle, about half an inch long, into one end of the plugged straw. When ready 
for the effect, just insert the straw in the bottle of milk, puncture the balloon, withdraw the point of the needle 
from the balloon, and leave the straw in the bottle. The effect, as you can visualize, is identical with the DeMuth 



The mental transmission of pictures from the performer to the medium has been a bugaboo of telepathists. 
Everything else has fallen but pictures. So, if one cannot successfully code them, one must falsify the whole 
proceedings. The following routine will enable you to do this with but 15 minutes practice. 

Effect: The performer has a piece of paper perforated for tearing into eight strips. He asks his audience to think 
of some simple diagrams and then steps among them. The various spectators approached each draw some simple 
design or figure upon the paper. Stepping back to the platform, the performer tears the paper into eight strips and 
drops them, one by one, into a 




bowl or hat. The medium now enters and is seated with her back to the audience, and is given a slate and a piece 
of chalk. 

Any person from the audience now freely selects from the bowl one slip which he puts in his pocket. He is then 
given a slate and a piece of chalk and retires with them to a far corner of the room or auditorium, where he waits 
while the effect goes on. 

The performer now reaches into the hat and removes one paper which he looks at in silence. At once, the 
medium is heard to be writing on her slate. She holds it up to show the picture she has drawn. The performer 
asks whose drawing the medium has reproduced. The design is acknowl- 

edged as correct, and the performer takes another paper. The effect is repeated quickly and. one after another, the 
spectators acknowledge their drawings, as each is duplicated by the medium. Throughout, the performer remains 
silent, and does nothing more than pick out slips and look at them. 

When the seventh slip has been duplicated, the performer asks the spectator across the room, who is holding the 
eighth slip and a slate, to draw a picture of the figure on his slip. He does so and then returns to the front where 
he shows his sketch to everyone in the audience. The medium, who has finished her work and is standing before 
the audience, turns her slate around and shows it also. Both drawings are the same! 

Preparation: Charles Jordan's Yogi Force does the trick. It is still my idea of a perfect force. The paper used by 
the performer is about 2 1/2 inches wide by 6 inches long. It is of an opaque quality, and there are really two 
sheets used. Mark off the front sheet in 3/4-inch sections. On the back piece draw the design of a triangle eight 
times so as to conform with the spaces on the front piece. Place the two together, the triangles on the inside 
facing the upper piece, and run a dressmaker's tracing wheel across the marked-off lines on the top piece, 
perforating the paper. Putting the two sheets through a sewing machine without thread will accomplish the same 

The perforations, dividing the paper into eight sections for tearing apart, hold the sheets together securely until 
pulled apart. Such a prepared paper can be shown blank on both sides and can be handled quite freely. 

Routine: After his opening, the performer steps into the audience. He passes from one to another and each is 
allowed to make a drawing in one of the perforated sections. Simple design has been stressed as well as the word 
geometrical. In eight chances, there won’t be one in a thousand or more trials when a triangle will not be made. 
Audiences never think clearly when attacked, and the simplest of patterns are about all of which they can think. 
However, if a triangle hasn't shown up at the seventh place, merely look at someone a bit away, say, "A triangle 
for you?" write it in yourself and walk away. And you do not have to yell it so everyone in the place can hear, 

Hold up the paper so everyone can see that it is all you have in your hands. As you talk about what has been 
done, tear it up into eight slips as follows: 

First, fold the strip in half with the drawings inside. Now open out a single thickness of the triangle sheet and 
tear it off. Do this deliberately and bring your hands apart showing that you actually have one -half of the paper 
in each hand. Place this torn-off triangle section in front of the packet, that is on the side of the packet facing the 
audience. (The triangle drawings are, of course, always kept facing you.) Fold the strip in half again, exactly as 
before, and open out TWO single thicknesses of the triangle slip, tear them off and again place them in front of 
the packet. Fold the packet in half again for the last time and open out FOUR single thicknesses of the triangle 
slip, tear them off and place them in front of the packet. Thus you have separated the forcing (triangle) slip, 
dissected it and now have eight separate triangle slips in front of your packet. Nothing could be fairer! In the rear 
of the packet, and under your thumb, you have the original front piece of the paper strip folded up into one 
bundle; and the original audience sketches are still all in one strip. 

At this point, and while the packet is held at your finger tips, you may fan the eight segments, being careful to 
keep the original bundle behind the fan. Now square up the packet, turn it over in your hand and count the eight 
separate triangle slips into the bowl. The folded packet remains finger palmed in your hand, and this hand 
immediately grasps the bowl and shakes up the slips. 

The medium is called for and comes on. The performer takes her by the hand and sees that she is seated in a 
chair with her back to the audience. And in doing so the untorn and palmed packet is left secretly in her hand. 
When she has been comfortably seated, she is given a slate and a piece of chalk. 

Now a spectator steps forward and is offered a free choice from among the slips in the bowl. Naturally, he is not 
allowed to look into the bowl, this being held above his eye level. He gets one of the triangle slips, of course, and 
is told to put it in his pocket. He is now given a slate and a piece of chalk and asked to retire to a far corner of the 

The performer now dips his hand into the bowl and removes one slip, which he looks at without saying anything. 
The medium immediately draws something on her slate. What? One of the drawings on the strip she has on her 

lap, skipping, of course, the triangle. She then holds her drawing up for all to see. The performer glances back at 
his paper (one of the seven triangles left in the bowl), nods, then looks into the audience and asks, "Who drew 

the ," naming whatever the medium has drawn. It is acknowledged. Quickly, and as fast as they can be 

run through, the medium duplicates the other six sketches. In each instance it is apparent that the performer 
merely looks at the sketch first and, by some mental force, sends the picture to the medium. Anyone who knows 
about code work will go crazy trying to catch cues and signals. 

When the seventh drawing is completed, the person in the corner is asked to make his sketch on the slate he 
holds and to bring it forward. The medium stands and keeps her slate back outwards. The spectator shows his 
drawing, and. for the climax, the medium turns her slate around and shows that she has drawn a duplicate of the 
spectator's sketch. 



Here is an extremely effective version of the shirt removal trick that makes a stage item of this otherwise 
neglected stunt. 

Effect: The performer, wearing a white shirt, enters a small cabinet and has his wrists securely tied in the center 
of a long rope. Throughout the trick two members of the audience hold the ends of the rope, after they have been 
passed through holes in the sides of the cabinet. A red shirt is now handed into the cabinet and, almost 
immediately, the performer's white shirt is flung out. Following the white shirt comes the performer, who steps 
out of the cabinet wearing the red shirt! Everything can be examined as the rope tie is genuine, the red shirt is 
really on the performer and the white shirt is unprepared. 

Preparation and Routine: Two red shirts and one white one are needed, and silk ones will be found the best to 
use as they take up less bulk. 

A bow tie with an elastic neckband should also be worn, such as an evening dress tie that can be removed merely 
by unhooking the neckband. 

The red shirt is put on first with its tail pinned down so it does not pull out later. The white shirt goes on next in 
skeleton fashion being arranged as per the instructions for the "Shirt Test" on page 99. Snap the tie in place and 
you're set to work the shirt changing stunt anytime during your program. 

When ready to present, have your wrists tied securely in the center of a long rope. Step into your cabinet and 
have the ends of the rope passed through holes in both sides of the cabinet. Two spectators stand, one on either 
side of the cabinet, and hold on to the ropes. The curtains are drawn across the front of the cabinet, and a red 
shirt is handed into the cabinet to you. 

As soon as the curtains are drawn, you remove your tie, unbutton your collar button and the two top buttons of 
the white shirt you are wearing. Unbutton your coat and your vest. Next unbutton the cuffs of the white shirt 
with your teeth, as you have only to get hold of the cuff at the right spot and pull it off the button. Now reach 
over your head to back and. bending over, pull the shirt right over your head. You can't do this in one pull, but a 
series of short pulls will bring the shirt out in a few seconds. When you have the shirt free, stick it between your 
knees to hold it. Now put your tie on again, and, if you have worked fast enough, you'll be ready when the extra 
red shirt is handed into the cabinet. 

This extra red shirt is either stuffed into your pocket, or into a pocket of one of the curtains forming the side of 
the cabinet. As soon as it is hidden, toss out the white shirt and step out of the cabinet. 

(Editor's Note: Although neither Mr. Annemann or Mr. Duncanson mention It, I presume that the two assistants 
will have to be told to allow you some slack In the rope they are holding. 



Plants and confederates are not always practical, but it is possible with the help of a plant to introduce an 
impromptu miracle in your program once in a while with striking effect. The frame-up tests to follow all require 
a little nerve plus the judicious selection of a good-natured spectator to act as your confederate. Don't select one 
who appears grouchy or of the smart aleck type, but pick out a good-natured person, one who will enter into the 
spirit of the occasion and get as big a kick out of fooling his friends as you will. 

1. ENVELOPE TEST. In your pocket carry three letter envelopes, nail nicked at the upper right hand corners 
on the flap side so they can be recognized as one, two and three. Also have a card with the names of five cards 
written on it, together with a message to your assistant to name the five cards as required, in the order listed, and 
to stall on the last one. In the opposite coat pocket are the five cards to be forced, and they are set in the proper 

Start out by having the person, acting as the medium, sit in a chair with his or her back to the audience. Now 
cover the medium with a sheet and. in the process of doing so, drop the card list into his lap. While this is going 
on, you have had someone else busily engaged in shuffling a deck of cards. As you explain that you intend to 
have some cards selected which will be named by the medium, you drop your hand into your pocket and palm 
the force cards. Taking back the deck, add the palmed cards to the top of the pack. 

Step up to your first victim and force the top card, either by the standard fan force after cutting to the middle, or 
by the riffle and slip cut to the point in the deck where you are stopped. You now hold your finger to your lips 
for silence and the medium slowly and correctly names the card the first spectator is holding. 

This is repeated with another person, the second card being forced and subsequently named. Then follows a 
variation. State that the first two experimental tests have been by telepathy between the spectator and the 
medium. This time, however, it will be a case of clairvoyance by the medium as no one will know the names of 
the cards. 

The next three people to take cards, all forced and in order, are each given an envelope into which to seal his 
card after noting it. The envelopes are pulled from your pocket in each case, and given out in their marked order, 
one, two and three. Anyone now collects the sealed envelopes, mixes them, and hands them to you. Fan them out 
carelessly, state that it is impossible for anyone to know which cards are where, and hold up one envelope 
(holding up the first, of course). The medium names a card, whereupon you tear open the envelope and show it 
to be correct. This is repeated with the second envelope. With but one left, you hand it to the person not yet 
accounted for, and the medium finishes off the well-rounded effect by not seeing it clearly. He asks the spectator 
to open his envelope and stare at the card directly so that he can get a telepathic wave. Then he names it! 

As you can see, this test can be built up into quite a sensational effect. Likewise it makes a stunning program 
item for your regular act, for under these conditions you can have your partner memorize the force cards and be 
ready at all times. Furthermore, dispense with the sheet and just blindfold her. 

2. WATCH TEST. This is another fine test. Take an open face watch and attach to its face a square piece of 
paper. A dab of wax will hold it in place. Write the following message on the paper: "We can have a laugh and 
fool the others if you'll help me by setting the watch at ten minutes after eight." Put the watch, so prepared, into 
your vest pocket and you're set. 

When ready to work the stunt, remove the watch and look at it as though checking on the time. Select a spectator 
and ask him to leave the room with the watch, or go to a far corner and set the watch at any time he may please. 
He is then to return and give it to you behind your back. 

The spectator does as requested. When he hands you the watch behind your back you should be facing the 
audience. Just hold it in your hand a few seconds and slowly name the hour and then the minutes. You will also 
find it effective to use a slate in this stunt. After holding the watch for a few seconds, hand it back to your 
assistant and pick up a slate and write the time — or draw a watch face — on the surface towards yourself. The 
spectator now shows the watch and calls out the time, and you turn the slate and show that you got the mental 
impression correct! 

3. SLATE TEST. This slate stunt is another variation. Have two slates and on one write, not with chalk but with 
a slate pencil, "Help me fool the rest of the audience and we'll have a private laugh between ourselves. Rub this 
writing out with your finger and draw a large square with a triangle inside of it. Thank you." 

Pick out your victim and direct him to a comer, going a little ways with him. Hand him the slate and, in doing so, 
indicate the written message with your finger. Step back to the front and pick up the unprepared slate. Ask the 
person in the comer to draw some simple geometrical figures on his slate and you'll do the same. When he has 
finished, he shows his slate and you show yours — and you've both drawn the same figures! Telepathy? 

4. ANOTHER SLATE TEST. A variation of the above test has been used successfully by one performer. A 
slate was handed to someone in the audience and he was requested to stand at a far side of the room and to think 
of a number of three digits. When he had decided upon it, he was to write it on the slate in large figures and to 
concentrate on it, being careful to keep the figure out of sight of everyone present. 

Now the performer would select a lady to assist in the test. He took hold of her wrist and slowly began counting 
from One to Zero in a loud voice. The lady was then asked to tell which of the figures called impressed her most 
and the routine was repeated three times. Thus a three-figured number was arrived at. The assistant with the slate 
was then asked to reveal his number and it was the same! 

Like the first slate stunt, the slate your assistant took with him bore a message asking him to write a particular 
number. The lady, of course, arrived at the forced number by the simple means of having her wrist pinched by 
the performed each time he named the proper digit. 

This test is not half as difficult as many might think, and though it takes a little affrontery it is as effective as any 
test of its kind. 

5. SHIRT TEST. This stunt will add quite a bit of comedy to any act. In effect, the performer asks for some 
young man to come up on the platform and, during the course of some trick, proceeds to remove the fellow's 
shirt without removing his coat. 

Of course a plant is necessary, but the time required to arrange the shirt takes but a few minutes. Take off his 
coat, vest and shirt. Now throw the shirt over his shoulders like a cloak and button the collar around his neck. 
Also button the first couple of buttons. Now arrange the sleeves around his arm and button the cuffs around his 
wrist. Put on his tie, vest and coat, being careful to tuck in the shirt tails. He now appears correctly dressed. 

typewriter paper over a picture. With a pencil outline all of the black sections. Now reproduce this diagram to 
scale in any larger size you prefer. We suggest 10 inches by 14 inches. Put this enlarged tracing on top of two or 
three more sheets, thumb tack the corners, and cut out all black sections with a razor blade. 

Now take one cut out before you. Fold it in half very sloppily, being careful that small points and parts are folded 
too and not torn or crumpled. Repeat this each way to reduce the paper to about two inches square in size. As 
you make each fold drop in a loose sliver or bit of paper, so that when you unfold it, these chopped up bits will 
drop out. 

Do the folding so that the upper left comer of the sheet will always be outside. When finished, put the packet 
under pressure until needed. Then, with a dab of paste, fasten it by this comer to an upper corner of a plain sheet. 
Fold the paper through the middle the long way, and with the folded packet inside. Place it on your table with 
shears on top. With a 11x14" sheet you won't have any trouble finding a background on which to display it. 
Almost anything with a dark color will do. And if you work with a suitcase show, you can have a black painted 
sheet of three-ply with two victrola needles along top edge on which to impale the opened out sketch. 

Before the paper is shown or cutting is even mentioned, have the name selected. I hesitate to give a method of 
forcing here because anyone who puts this stunt to work will have favorite methods of his own. Some are sold on 
the Change Bag, while others will merely have names called and write the same thing on all slips. It doesn't 
matter much what you do as long as the name selected is the one you want. 

Now pick up the paper and shears, letting the sheet drop open, but keeping the attached, prepared packet to the 
rear and top, that corner being held with the fingers in front and thumb behind. Now fold paper up as it was at 
start, with packet inside, and start trimming. Each time you fold and cut, cut away all paper in back that covers 
the packet. Pretend you are cutting a design by your actions. Don't just hack at it. Act as if there is something 
precise to be cut or trimmed. But keep folding and cutting until all of the blank sheet is cut away! And make the 
pieces small instead of large. 

Lay the shears aside and have the name looked at and called aloud. Then open up the paper you have and put it 
against the background. The small pieces you folded in will drop out, and make it all look very real. And you'll 
have a stunt which you'll be proud to feature. 



Effect: From a set of road maps any one is selected, opened to full size and placed on a table. Any three persons 
then scan the map and each mentally selects a city or town that strikes his fancy. The medium is placed in a far 
end of the room facing a corner. The performer then instructs each person to write down his mentally selected 
cities on a small piece of paper so as to have an accurate check at the conclusion of the test. 

The last person to write upon the slip of paper is told to fold it and keep in his inside pocket for the time being. 
Then he is to take the unfolded map to the medium. The three persons now form a circle with the performer by 
holding hands and the lights are snapped off to aid in the collective concentration. The performer lays stress 
upon the fact that from now on, until the medium either fails or succeeds in naming the mentally selected places, 
he will remain speechless. All instructions are carried out and the lights extinguished. Slowly the medium names 
the three selected places. The lights are turned on and the three places as named by medium are checked by the 
person who holds the slip. All are correct! 

Requirements: (1) A small pocket flashlight with the lens covered with red tissue paper. This is to be concealed 
anywhere on the medium. (2) A small slip of paper and pencil in the performer's inside coat pocket. 

(3) A set of six road maps, more or less, all different. These may be obtained from local gas stations, or by 
writing directly to any of the large oil companies. 

Preparation: These maps have a complete section of the country on one side, while on the other side it is 
blocked off in a number of smaller sections of cities. On the section nearest the center paste a piece of carbon 
paper, that fits inside of the section with a clearance of about 1/4-inch all around, with the impression side of 
carbon facing you. 

On top of this lay a thin piece of white paper the same size as the carbon. From a duplicate map cut out this same 
section and paste it over the carbon on three of its edges. Thus you have formed a pocket over the carbon and 
piece of paper, the latter being removable from the open side. Fold the map to its original form and prepare as 
many as you may care to use. 

Routine: It should all be very clear by now. Remove the maps from your pocket and have any one selected. The 
chosen one is spread open with the unprepared side facing the audience and the three cities or towns are selected. 

Remove the slip of paper from your pocket and lay it on the map directly over the prepared section. When the 
three people write their selections, carbon impressions are left on the white paper in the pocket of the map under 
the carbon. The map is taken to the medium who removes the piece of paper from the pocket in the map when 
the lights are turned off. By means of the dimmed flashlight, which so prepared will not throw a glow, the 
medium finds out the selections and slowly names them. The rest is presentation and showmanship. 

The whole effect is so radically different and so simple and direct in working that a tryout is highly 



This is probably one of the greatest "little" effects in the mental field. Guard its secret carefully, practice it till 
you have it down perfectly, and you'll have as stunning a trick as you'll ever find. Its simplicity will intrigue you 
as it did Ted Annemann, who had planned to include it in the program of his last show. 

Effect: The performer explains that he will attempt to produce some spirit raps through the medium of a steel 
ball and two soup plates, which he exhibits. He drops the ball on one of the plates several times to accustom the 
audience to the sound. Then he puts the steel ball in one of the soup plates, inverts the other plate on top of it, 
and holds the two plates between his finger tips. Distinct raps are heard shortly although the performer is careful 
to hold the plates steady, without any movement of any kind. The performer sets the plates down for a moment, 
or preferably hands them to someone to hold, while he has a card selected from a deck. He then picks up the 
plates again, and asks the person with the card to look at each spot on the card in turn, then concentrate on one 
spot at a time and imagine it is a rap. He is asked to hold the card in his left hand and form his right into a fist. 
Then as he gazes at each spot, he is to make a knocking motion in the air as one does when knocking on a door. 
As the spectator docs this, the raps follow, one for each spot, a fraction of a second after each knocking motion. 

Method: The simplicity of this secret is a perfect example of the inventive genius of Dr. Lyons. All that is 
needed to produce the raps is a metal finger tip. Wear it on your left or right ring finger, and rap out your 
answers on the under side of the bottom plate. Be careful to watch your angles, and do not bare your forearms, as 
the muscles will show tell-tale ripples. The number of spots on the card you know, of course, for it is forced. If 
you cannot force a card in a natural manner then use a force deck, for the selection must be a free one. 



This is one of the most thought-provoking little secrets to be evolved in many a moon. 

Effect: In action and conception the procedure resembles the popular "finger" game. The performer acts as a 
medium or thought reader and turns his back upon two spectators who will act as transmitters. Both of these 
spectators now hold out from 1 to 5 fingers, and the total of the two hands is called aloud. Immediately the 
performer tells correctly the number of fingers each spectator is showing. Or the two spectators may stand back 
to back, as Dr. V. Lyons does it, with their sides to the audience. Thus neither can see how many fingers the 
other holds out. Any third party either calls out the total of the fingers showing, or steps up to the performer and 
whispers it. Still the performer announces the correct number of fingers each spectator is showing! 

Now check that effect against these "perfect" conditions and control features. The medium may be honestly 
blindfolded or in another room within hearing distance, if desired. Either of the two spectators, or a third, may 
call out the total. Either of the two spectators may hold out his chosen number of fingers first. This avoids any 
thought that one spectator may be adding to the other's choice in order to reach a prearranged total. The stunt 
may be repeated indefinitely. 

In short, the conditions under which the stunt is done absolutely allay any suspicion that a confederate is used. 
Secret: One of the two spectators is a confederate, however. 

The first time it is worked, the confederate always put out 2 fingers. Thus, from the total called, the performer 
can name how many fingers each person is showing. Lrom then on, however, the confederate always holds out 
the same number of fingers as did the victim on the previous trial. Knowing the total, the performer merely 
subtracts and again and again is correct. After any cessation of the stunt, the slate is clean and a new start means 
that the assistant uses 2 as his starting number. 

A variation of the computation can make it really indetectable. Whatever the victim holds out is divided by two 
and the resultant number of fingers used by the confederate the next time. Where an odd number of fingers are 
held out, 1 is added to make an even number and then divided in half. Try this out, you'll like it! 



When in 1931, the Annemann version of "Seven Keys to Baldpate" made its appearance in his marvelous "Book 
Without a Name," there were quite a number of club magicians who immediately put this novelty in their 

Effect: The following is my streamlined version, which is very effective. Several keys and a lock are handed to a 
spectator for examination. Only one key will open the lock. The performer locks the opened lock into the lapel 
buttonhole of the spectator, and the keys are mixed in a borrowed hat by anyone. This person takes a bunch of 
small drug envelopes and drops a key into each and seals them. They are placed in the hat and again shaken up. 
The performer may be blindfolded if desired, and reaching into the hat picks out one envelope at a time, tossing 
each aside until he comes to one he "feels" contains the right key. Tearing open the envelope he dumps out the 
key, and it successfully opens the lock. There is nothing wrong to be found with the keys or lock. 

Preparation: You will require two locks, a key to open each, and 8 or 9 other keys that will not open either of 
the locks. Also have a stack of envelopes with a small bead in the comer of the top envelope, thanks to Mr. Frank 

Routine: Pass out the keys and have a spectator find the only one that will open the lock. The other lock 
(spectators only know about one) is in your inside coat pocket along with the envelopes. The key that fits this 
lock is up your right coat sleeve. 

At this point have the spectator mix the keys in a borrowed hat. You have taken the lock from him with your left 
hand while he does this, and as he shakes you reach into your pocket and get the envelopes. You switch the lock 
for the other, and your left hand comes out with the envelopes. Don't hurry this move, or try to be clever about it. 
All eyes are on the mixing of the keys, and you only have to do it naturally. No one ever dreams of an exchanged 
lock, all action being with the keys and envelopes. Hand the envelopes to the spectator, and then step back and 
fasten the lock in a second person's buttonhole. At this point let the key in your right sleeve drop into your hand. 

Tell the spectator who is holding the envelopes that you want him to seal up the keys one at a 
time. What you really do, suiting your actions to your directions, is reach into the hat and 
produce the palmed key. Place this key into the top envelope which contains the bead, and 
seal it. Thus you have performed the trick right under their very eyes. All that need be done 
now is have the spectator mix the envelopes after sealing the remainder himself. You then find the envelope 
with the bead and the rest is showmanship. The trick's greatest feature is that you apparently never handle the 
key or envelopes, everything being left to the spectator. 



In many instances a performer wants to present a two person effect of mentalism, but is prevented from doing so 
because of intricate codes and methods of communication requiring rehearsal. In this instance we leant of a truly 
simple way by which the medium (or party of the second part) is able to receive the desired information right in 
front of those witnessing the test. No practice is necessary on the part of the medium, and so it becomes an ideal 
"stunt" for those whose wives decline with vehemence to "leant all that stuff." 

For illustration of the communication principle we shall use a more or less commonly known problem of 
mathematics. That is, to magicians. The performer with a pad passes to three spectators in turn and has them 
whisper numbers of three figures each into his ear. Each time the performer writes on the pad, and, after the third 
person has given a number, he is asked to add the three rows of figures and think intently of the number. The 9 
principle is made use of here. The first row is written as given. The second row is written on the way to the third 
person and is not the number given to the performer. Instead, the performer puts down numerals which, when 
added to the figure above, will total nine. The last row is written as given and the pad is handed to the third 
spectator to add. The performer remembers only the last row. From the last figure he subtracts 1 and puts it in 
front making a four figured number. Thus if the last number were 248 — he would know the total to be 1247. If 
320 — the total would be 1319. 

So far we have brought out nothing new. The performer turns his back while the spectator adds. During this short 
time he writes on the inside of his left shirt cuff, with the stub of a pencil, the total of the problem as he knows it 
will be. When the spectator has finished, he is asked to think of the total. At the same time, the performer picks 
up a slate and chalk which he hands to the medium. She writes, spectator calls out total, and she turns the slate. It 
just has to be the same because she reads it from the performer's cuff! 



Effect: The performer has members of his audience give him "any single number" until six are named. Should 
one of these be repeated another is requested. They are marked down upon the paper slip as given and the paper 
handed another member of the audience. This person is also given a single die which he rolls several times to 

prove fair. Then he rolls it once more and multiplies the row of figures on the paper by the topmost number on 
the die just thrown. 

The performer explains the impossible nature of the test. It is one of genuine telepathy 
wherein he is enabled to "read" a group of figures multi- plied by a number arrived at by chance, and 
positively unknown to him, etc. And without further ado the performer apparently fulfills his claims to greatness. 

Requirements: A pencil, a slip of paper, and a single die complete the list of necessary apparatus. 

Routine: The basic principle of this impromptu mystery is a mathematical oddity which seems to be little 
known, and. in this particular instance, quite easily overlooked by the very few who might have heard of the 
idea. It is excusable on their part for misdirection at the beginning makes the feat appear far from being 

A subterfuge enters into the effect at the very start when the performer secretly writes down his own row of six 
figures instead of the ones given. The mystic figures are 1-4-2-8-5-7. Asking a person to give another figure, "for 
that has been named" is a cute bit of "throwing off" for no one of the six people knows what the other gives. 

The paper and die are given someone else and the multiplying done. This selection of a figure with which to 
multiply is so obviously fair that no one will think it possible for the performer to have any idea of the total 

However, the oddity of the six figure number used, and as written by the performer, is that it may be multiplied 
by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6, and the result will consist of the same six figures in different orders. And further, the six 
totals possible of being reached, will rotate from left to right in the same relative positions to one another as in 
the original number multiplied, although each total starts with a different one of the six figures, as follows: 

142857 x 1 142857 
142857x2 285714 
142857x3 428571 

142857x4 571428 
142857x5 714285 
142857x6 857142 

The fact that the resultant number is divisible by 9 allows of an additional effect. Once the total has been 
computed the performer explains the impossibility of his knowing anything about it. The spectator is asked to 
concentrate upon one of the six figures and draw a circle about it. Then he is to add together the remaining five 
figures and name the total thus reached. The performer reveals the circled figure merely by remembering that the 
six figures total 27 and the circled figure will be the difference between that number and the total called out, i.e., 
the total of the remaining five. 

This over, the performer, knowing the other five component figures, is able to reveal each of them, one by one, 
in any order that he may choose. Or, he may ask the spectator the position of the first named figure, adding, 
"And now, which other figure do you just want to concentrate upon, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd. etc., leaving out the one 
revealed. Knowing its position gives the performer the exact line up of the other five! 



Here is my version of Stewart James' ingenious trick, "Half and Half" on page 184, which I developed after 
using his method and realizing how impossible the effect seemed to the onlookers and participants. 

Effect: The performer selects a subject and throws a typed card (Fig. 1) in front of him on the table. No 
particular reference is made to it, but it can be seen that it contains a column of figures and a list of word 

endings. The performer next lays down on the table another strip of cardboard, slightly to one side of the first 
card, but with its blank side up. 

Three dice are given to the assistant to test by rolling them a few times. Then he is asked to hold them tightly in 
his left hand. The performer tears a piece of paper into halves. On one piece he writes what he calls a prediction. 
This is put in a conspicuous position and is not touched again. Then the assistant throws the three dice for a final 
total number. 

Whatever it may be, from 3 to 18 inclusive, he looks at the card first put down, and then writes upon the other 
half of the torn paper the final letters of the word which appears opposite his number. This writing preferably 
should be in printed capital letters so that "no trouble will be encountered in deciphering handwriting." 

The performer picks up and hands the narrow slip of card to the subject. He is told to match the two lists in order 
to determine what the whole word is. And he also is asked to read some of the other completed words to 
convince himself and others that all are quite different, any of which might have been chosen by chance. 



ISH 3 

CUSS I ON - 4 


I ME TER -- 7 

CH 8 

iSPHUtE - 9 

SIST 10 


SON 12 

FECT 13 

FORM 14 

TAIN — . 15 

IL 16 

PLEX 17 


F ‘B- I Finally the spectator is asked to match the pieces of torn paper together and 

read aloud. It is the same word ! And remember, the performer hasn't touched his written paper, which matches 
the other torn half, since he put it down before the dice were thrown for a free selection of 16 different words! 

Preparation: First type a list on index stock as shown in Fig. 1. This is the card you give to the spectator at the 
start of the effect. 

Then type the list shown in Fig. 2, using index stock. Then cut the list into strips remembering that their number 
values run from 3 through 18. These values are shown at the top of Fig. 2 for your guidance, but should not 
appear on the lists when in use. The numbers 1 and 2 cannot be thrown when using three dice. 

Make two pocket indexes for eight strips apiece, so that you can quickly get any strip you want from either 
trouser pocket. 

Routine: In action, you proceed as has been described with the first list (Fig. 1) thrown down, but for the 
second, narrow list, you take from your pocket the number 1 1 strip, putting it writing side down on the table. Be 
sure to place it quite some distance away from the first list. 

The assistant really does toss the dice around with freedom and fairness. Then you tear a piece of paper into two 
halves and write on one piece the letters "PER." Fold and be sure to put this paper in a spot where afterwards 
everyone will remember that you didn't touch it a second time. 

Now comes the important throw of the dice. You can have both hands in your pockets as it is made. You know 
the total as quickly as the assistant, and you will have ample time to secure the proper strip from the index in one 
of your pockets as your assistant looks up the word ending and writes it on the other half of the torn sheet of 











• » 


i r 




































































































































































































































































































Fig. 2 

Finger palm the strip along the second finger and bring your hand out of your pocket. Pick up the No. 1 1 slip on 
the table with your other hand, as your assistant starts to write his word ending. Have him put the paper down 
and then hand him the strip. Apparently you hand him the strip you just picked up, but actually you switch the 
slips, and hand him the one you have just obtained from the index. 

He now compares the strip and the card in alignment and discovers the word he won. Then you ask that your 
prophecy be compared with what the spectator wrote. He lays them side by side, and the word written across the 
two halves of the paper is the same as the word he won. 

I suggest that you use slip No. 11 because 10 and 11 are tops on percentage with three dice. If the dice thrown 
actually total 11, then, of course, you have a super miracle, because no switch of strips is then necessary. 



Effect: The performer shows five differently colored cards, each of which bears two columns of words. He 
hands these to someone to shuffle and asks him to lay them on the table. The performer walks to a far corner of 

the room and asks the spectator to think of any "horror" word, then to look the cards over and pick up those cards 
that bear that particular word. He puts the cards in his pocket and concentrates upon the word. The performer 
immediately reveals the word, or describes thoughts, feelings and situations until he finally hits on the word. 
This latter presentation is by far the best, and should be worked up as impressively as possible. 

Preparation: You will need a set of cards like those illustrated. Each card should be of a different color, so that 
you can identify it at a distance. These can be made easily by typing the lists shown on various colored card 
boards. The five cards numbered 1, 2, 4, 8 and Extra are the only ones seen by the audience, the other and largest 
card is your master card, which 


Black oat 







Haunted House 





Coffin * 


V a up Ire 





1 Undertaker Skeleton 






Poison / 


Black oat 


Black oat 













Haunted House 









Insanity 1 


Grave yard f 

















1 Horror 

2 Voodoo 

3 Fiend 

4 Devil 

5 Suioide 

6 Haunted House 

7 Undertaker 

8 Monster 

9 Torture 

10 Witch 

11 Morgue 

12 Ghost 

13 Murder 

14 Corpse 








Grave yard 



Black cat 

you keep in your pocket and consult as needed. Do not, however, number the cards as shown, but remember 
these numbers as being associated with the various cards. It might be well to number one set, on the back, and 
keep it for your master set so as to refresh your memory from time to time, particularly just before a 

Routine: Have the master list card in your pocket. Show the other five cards, have them shuffled and laid in a 
row on the table as you step to a far corner of the room. Palm the master list card in transit. Ask the person 
assisting to select a "horror" word and then pick up all the cards bearing that word. You watch and make a 
mental note of the value of each of the cards picked up. This will be easy as each one is a different color, and 
you know the key number associated with each colored card. Mentally add up these numbers, and then look up 
that (total) number on your key list. If the Extra card is selected also, it simply means that the word is in the first 
column on you master list card; if the Extra card is not picked up, the word will be at the same number but in the 
second column. For instance, the person thinks of the word "Vampire." He would pick up cards number 1, 4 and 
8, without the Extra card. These cards total 13, so "Vampire" will be found in the 13th place in the second 
column on your master card. Likewise, if he thought of the word "Morgue," he would pick up cards 1, 2 and 8, 
and also the Extra card. These cards total 11, so with the Extra card indicating the first column you will find the 
word "Morgue" in 1 1th position. 

For close up work, you can use plain white cards but dot them on the backs, so that you can identify the 
numerical value of each. In this case, have the person making the selection turn all the cards face down that he 
doesn't pick up. Automatically you know what cards he holds. 



In this little effect, the performer uses a small black headed pin and a case that formerly contained pen-points. 
The spectator puts the pin in the case, then closes it and hands it to the performer who has been standing with his 
back turned. Turning to face the audience, the performer raises the box, without looking at it, to his forehead and 
divines which way the pin is pointing. 

The secret of this impromptu divination is very subtle. You can tell by touch which is the top of the case, for 
there's a ridge around the cover. Now as you raise the box to your forehead, you do it quickly, and tilt it just as it 
touches your head. You will hear the pin roll back and forth repeatedly if the point of the pin is at the top of the 
box. On the other hand, if the head of the pin is at the top of the box this rolling sound is practically non-existant. 
Don't shake the box, just raise it quickly and be sure to tilt it. 

As a patter suggestion, you might use this quip about the philosopher who said. "It's very hard to tell about a pin 
as it is headed in one direction and pointed in the other." 



Very seldom does an effect come to light and cover the weird phases as does this. It is strictly a "spook tale" and 
the reader will see at once that the whole thing is a gigantic "build-up" and must be done seriously to surround it 
with the right atmosphere. The effect is at its best in a home where you are a guest, or when you are performing 
at a small party. The room where you are working must be darkened for about four minutes during the "voodoo" 
portion of the trick. 

Effect: A spectator scratches an identification mark on a Chinese coin which he hands back to you. Running a 
short length of string through the hole in the coin, you allow each of several spectators to tie one or more knots 
in the string, making it impossible to remove the coin without cutting or untying the cord. 

The coin on the string is placed in a small metal box, and with it is put a blank piece of paper or calling card. 
Rubber bands are snapped around the box and it is handed to the host or hostess. You ask her to hide it in the 
most remote corner of the house, in an old trunk, under the mattress upstairs, or in the attic. She can go alone or 
take someone with her, but no one who stays in the room knows where the box has been hidden. When the lady 
returns, she is asked to select a card from the deck and to keep it in her possession. 

The lights are now turned out, and after a moment or two of silence, a small green light glows at the table where 
you are standing and you are seen to be holding the box! You give it a gentle shake and the rubber bands which 

are of the heavy type and snapped tightly on, are seen to fall off. The box is opened and string with coin is 
removed. Another gentle shake and the coin drops off the cord onto the table, leaving only the knotted cord in 
your hand. The string is replaced in the box and you pick up the piece of paper or card. Writing something on the 
paper you put it back in the box on top of the string, close the box and snap the bands back on. Now the green 
light is extinguished, and after a few moments the lights are turned on. 

The spectator who marked the coin is asked to pick it up from where it fell on the table, and it bears his 
identification mark! Then you ask the hostess to go and get the box from its hiding place. Upon returning she 
opens it herself and finds only the knotted string and the card upon which is written in bright green ink. "The 
card you selected was the Ace of Hearts." 

Read over the above routine again and see for yourself the tremendous possibilities this offers as a super spook 

Requirements: Two P & L card boxes, two duplicate Chinese coins, four wide elastic bands, two black cloth 
bands to match, three pieces of string, three duplicate paper slips or cards, a pack of cards and a green light. 
Make the green light with a small flash light set in a lota bowl or similar container that is easily carried. Several 
pieces of green celophane paper wrapped over the light bulb will give you the proper effect. Set this light in the 
bowl so that it shoots a beam of light straight up, glowing with weird effect in a darkened room. 

Preparation: In one card box place a loop of cord in which you have tied several knots; also one of the slips of 
paper. Place this card box in your lota bowl together with the flashlight, first, however, slipping over the box the 
two loose cloth bands. Set the bowl on the table and behind it place two of the rubber bands. Also have the pack 
of cards, one of the Chinese coins, the other pair of rubber bands, one slip of paper and the duplicate card box in 
sight on the table. This second card box is prepared as follows: In the bottom compartment place another loop of 
string which has been knotted, and the third slip of paper. On this slip is written, in green ink, "The Card you 
selected was the Ace of Hearts." In writing this, make a mistake and then cross it out. Later when you are seen 
writing under the green light, you apparently make a mistake and have to cross it out. This is a subtle detail, but 
it will make a big impression! To get back to preparation again, place the third piece of string in your right coat 
pocket; palm the duplicate Chinese coin in your left hand and your set to start. 

Routine: Follow the routine as described, giving it as much showmanship as possible. Have the Chinese coin on 
the table picked up and marked by someone. You take it and apparently place it in your left hand, really palming 
it in your right as you bring the duplicate coin into view with the the left hand. Reach into your right coat pocket 
for the piece of string and deposit the marked coin as you bring out the string. Go immediately to another person 
some distance from the one who marked the coin, and give this second person the coin and string and ask him to 
string it and then tie several knots in the string so that the coin cannot be removed. Have him pass it to several of 
his neighbors who in turn each tie a knot. Pick up the visible card box from the table and the slip of paper. Show 
them both. Open the top section of the card box (this should be readied in advance), take the coin and string and 
drop it in the box together with the paper slip. Close the box and snap two of the rubber bands around it. Have 
your hostess take the box, leave the room and hide it somewhere. When she returns you have her select a card, 
and force the Ace of Hearts on her. She keeps the Ace in her possession and takes her seat. 

Now have the lights turned off as you stand behind the table. Reach into your coat pocket and palm the coin. 
Then reach into the bowl, light the flashlight and bring out the duplicate card box. Hold it up so that it is visible 
in the ray of green light and shake off the two cloth bands, which audience think are the rubber ones. Open the 
box and remove the string with your right hand, at the same time letting the palmed coin slip to your finger tips 
and hold it against the string so that it is visible to everyone. Shake the string and let the coin drop onto the table. 
Put the string back into the box and remove the paper slip. Pretend to write on the paper as already described and 
return the paper to the box; close the box, pick up the elastic bands from behind the bowl and snap them in place 
around the box. Reach into the bowl with the same hand that is holding the box and snap off the light. As soon as 
the green light is out, withdraw the cardbox and slip it into your pocket. Your other hand in the meantime has 
picked up the two cloth bands and slipped them into the pocket on other side of your coat. Now call for the house 
lights. Ask someone to pick up the coin and have it identified. Then ask the hostess to fetch the box she hid and 
bring it in. When she does so, she opens it and finds only the knotted string and the slip bearing the name of the 
card she selected. She produces the card and acknowledges it. 



The following effect is an impromptu variation of the above trick, and one that will certainly appeal to many of 

To start, the performer announces an experiment in witchcraft. A bit of Voodoo ceremony used to impress 
ignorant souls that the incantating and muchly overdressed native Witch Doctor is really possessed of powers 
beyond the reach of ordinary mortals. A power that permits him to send his astral body into far off places during 
the curious and forbidding rituals of the Voodoo ceremonies. 

Effect: A card is selected. An envelope is shown and also a length of ribbon, an inch wide and four feet long. 
With a knife a hole is made through the envelope and the ribbon is then pushed through so that it runs freely 
back and forth in the envelope. The card is shown again and a comer is torn from it. The corner is given to a 
person to hold. The card is pushed into the envelope and sealed. This is handed to your hostess with the request 
that she wrap the ribbon around the envelope and then carry it out of the room and hide it carefully in some 
distant part of the house. When she returns the lights are turned out. 

Suddenly a green glow appears to surround the performer. Just as mysteriously the envelope appears in his 
hands. The flap slowly raises as the magician waves his hand over it. The card is removed, also the ribbon. A 
knife is picked up from the table and a slit is made through the card. The ribbon is threaded through this slit and 
the ends of the ribbon are passed through the holes. The performer now pulls on the ends of the ribbon and draws 
the card into the envelope. As a final touch the ribbon is wound around the envelope. Then the green glow goes 
out. When the house lights are snapped on, there stands the performer empty handed. 

Your hostess fetches the hidden envelope. It is opened in the presence of everyone. When the card is removed it 
is found threaded on the ribbon. The card is now checked with the corner that was being held by one of the 
guests, and it matches perfectly. Truly a ghostly interlude! 

Preparation: The method should require but little explanation. Use the familiar double envelope. A card, with 
corner torn off, is placed in the rear part of the envelope. Place the corner in your vest pocket. You also require a 
duplicate ordinary envelope with a ribbon running through it. Inside this ordinary envelope is a duplicate of the 
force card with its corner torn off. Discard this corner. Place this ordinary envelope in one of your pockets 
wrapped with a black silk handkerchief. Also have a green light set in a lota bowl as in the preceding effect. 

Routine: Follow the routine as given. Have a card selected (forced) and a corner torn off. Switch this corner for 
the one you have pocketed, and give to someone to hold. Pick up the double envelope (with the duplicate card in 
the rear section) and punch a hole through it with a knife. Now thread your ribbon through the hole, insert the 
forced card in the front section of the envelope and seal it. Wrap the ends of the ribbon around the envelope and 
have it hidden. 

Now have the lights turned off. Reach into the lota bowl and snap on the green light, but stand back from its 
glow a bit. Bring out the envelope wrapped in the black handkerchief and hold it in your hand. If you stand in the 
right position it can't be seen until you jerk away the handkerchief. Now hold the envelope slightly tilted towards 
you and. as you make passes over it with your right hand, push up the flap with your left thumb. From here on 
follow the routine as already described, pocketing the envelope just after you snap off the green light and before 
the house lights are turned on. Thus you are empty handed when the room is lighted. When your hostess returns, 
take the envelope from her, slit open the front compartment and remove the ribbon-threaded card. One 
suggestion: I strongly recommend that you use a forcing pack because the presentation should be direct 



Effect: The performer takes from his pocket a telegram which obviously bears a coded message, as illustrated: 


220 WEST 42 ST NY 



A pair of dice is handed to a spectator along with the telegram, and the performer turns his back. The dice are 
thrown and the two top numbers are multiplied together. The spectator is asked to count to that word in the 
telegram and concentrate steadily upon it and its meaning. Nothing has been told the performer and. although he 
has no idea of the numbers arrived at with the dice, he correctly calls out the letters which make up the selected 

Preparation: All you need is a telegram as per the illustration, plus two dice. To be really effective, the telegram 
should be authentic, and all you have to do is send one to yourself. This is much better than typing or writing the 
message on a telegram blank. 

Routine: The spectator actually selects the word as described, and you start to concentrate. After mussing your 
hair a bit, say, "My dear sir, you evidently have never had your mind read before. The word is coming to me in a 
jumble of letters. However, I'll call out the letters as I get them, and you cross them off as I call them. When you 
have crossed out the last remaining one, say 'Right' in a loud voice. Are you set?" 

The words in the telegram are so chosen and so arranged that no matter what numbers show on the dice, their 
product will lead to a word which you will arrive at by repeating the following letters slowly, and in the order 


Just try this out. It's easy to do, very effective and makes a fine impromptu stunt. 



When one can do a trick with the assistance of a telephone operator, he is quite a person, and that is just what 
seems to happen in the case of this excellent home, office or press stunt. It is short, simple and sweet, depending 
upon dial telephones and a bit of timing. Most cities of any size have dial phones now, so the inclusion of this 
feat is warranted. 

Effect: Ask for the use of a phone and dial the operator. When she answers, say, "Ring back in a few minutes, 
operator, as soon as you get my friend's thought impression, and tell him the card by the number of rings. Use 
the usual suit order . . . I'll call you back." Then hang up. 

Now explain that the operator is concentrating, and that you would like to have someone select a card. The 
puzzled spectator takes a card which you do not see. Tell him that the suits are in a certain order, as Hearts, 
Clubs, Diamonds, Spades, and are thought of as 1, 2, 3 and 4. Thus a suit can be told by the number of rings on 
the phone. The spectator concentrates, and in a minute or so the phone rings once, twice, three or four times and 

then stops. You say, "That's . . . rings. The card must be a Is that correct? Thank you. Now think of the 

value please, and listen." The phone starts ringing again and stops when it has rung the correct number of times! 

Routine: The stunt has an amazing effect upon a person. The calling of the operator is, of course, just build-up, 
and the poor operator doesn't know what it is all about. However, operators get so many crackpots on the wire 
every day with foolish questions that they are used to suffering. Note, however, that you make the above remarks 
quite fast, pause for the operator to say, "What?" and then say, "I'll call you back." That quiets her down and 
makes her think you're a bit mixed up. 

It is only necessary now for the correct card to be forced and then all stand by for the phone to ring. Your 
confederate is outside, and calls the number at the agreed time. With all dial phones, one can dial the number and 
listen to the automatic ringing at the other end. When the correct number of rings are heard for the suit of the 
card, he hangs up and breaks the connection which stops the ringing. He immediately dials the number again, 
and this time listens until the correct number of rings have been made for the value of the card before he hangs 
up. The very slight delay in re-dialing the number is taken up by you asking the spectator if the suit is correct, 
and telling him to start thinking of the card's value. 

As simple as it is, you'll find the ringing of a phone bell most effective. It makes a very spooky bit of business, 
for although everyone is used to answering a phone, just letting one ring and counting the rings is a strange bit of 



An extremely cute match divination can be presented impromptu with a book of paper matches. It's ideal for 
close-up work, and although it's based on an old mathematical principle this new dress and presentation makes it 
completely mystifying. 

Effect: Hand a book of paper matches to a spectator and ask him to turn his back and remove several matches. 
Ask him not to let anyone see how many he’s taken and then put them in his pocket. Next he is to count the 
number of matches remaining and then tear out enough of them to represent that number. For instance, should 
there be 15 matches left, he is to tear out one and lay it on the table, and then tear out five more and lay them 
alongside of the first match. He is to put these matches in his pocket along with the first ones. He is then asked to 
tear out any number of the remaining matches he likes and hold them in his hand. 

At this point, you turn around and reveal the number of matches he is holding, although it is obvious that you 
cannot know how many matches have been torn out. 

Secret: It is only necessary to use a new or nearly full pack of matches. In a new pack there are always 20 
matches. By following the above directions you will find that there will always be nine matches left after the first 
two actions. When you turn around, pick up the pack of matches, light your cigar or cigarette and note the 
number of matches left. Subtract this number from nine, and you know the number of matches being held. As 
indicated above, this will work just as well if you use a pack that is nearly full. 



Calendars may be used effectively in mental routines, and for that reason, the following ideas may be of interest 
to those who are looking for something just a bit different. It makes a nice close-up stunt as well as a fine 
program item for large audiences when larger size calendars are used. 

Effect: The performer proposes to tell any lour dates that are marked off by a spectator. Tear a sheet from a 
calendar pad and give it to him with a pencil. He is to mark a square around any four dates, as illustrated in the 
first of the three calendar sheets reproduced below. When the spectator announced the total of the four dates he 
has circled, you immediately announce the four separate figures making up the total. 

Secret and Routine: For this example, the four dates in the first calendar have been encircled. The total named 
is 80. You mentally divide by 4 which equals 20 and subtract 4 to give yourself 16. This is the lowest 

date in the square. It is easy now to calculate the remaining dates as 16+7 equals 23, and 17+7 is 24. Thus the 
dates are 16, 17, 23 and 24. 

Continue by tearing off another sheet and having another person mark off any nine of the dates in a square. The 
second calendar sheet illustrates this. Saying that you won't give him so much adding to do, ask him only to give 
you the total of the highest and lowest dates, in this instance, 6 and 22. This time you mentally divide by 2, and it 
gives you the center number of the square, or 14. The number to the left of this always is 7 less, or 7 in this 
instance. The number above is 1 less or 6. Thus you instantly visualize the nine figures as 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 
21 , 22 . 

Again you tear off a sheet and this time a spectator marks off any three figures in a row vertically. We shall use 
14, 15 and 16. You are given the total, which in this case is 45. You mentally divide by 3 which gives you the 
middle figure. By going back 1 and ahead 1 you get the numbers 14, 15 and 16. 

Now hand out the rest of the calendar pad and say that you will endeavor to name the days on which any month 
started and ended. You are given a month and you ask upon what day the 17th landed. If he says Tuesday, you 
answer by saying that the month started on Sunday and ended on Monday. This is based on the fact that the 15th 
of the month always arrives on the day the month began, and if there are thirty days in the month it will end one 
day after the day is started. If there are 3 1 days in the month it will end two days later than it began. So, when 
you are told that the 17th was on Tuesday, the 15th must have been Sunday and, if a 30-day month, it must have 
ended one day later on Monday. 

In February, if there are 29 days, the month always ends on the day it starts. If it has 28 days, it always ends one 
day earlier or before the day on which it starts. There hardly is anyone but knows the jingle by which the number 
of days in each month is told instantly. 

In the example given above, I have used an English type calendar. For the more common type, that is one on 
which the run of figures goes across in rows rather than in vertical columns, the procedure is the same for the 
spectator and very little changed for yourself. Where it has been said, in the second effect, that you subtract 7 
from the middle figure to get the one at the left, with the more common type calendar you subtract the 7 to get 
the figure above. In this case, the figure to the left of the one you do know is one less always; and one more, if to 
the right. If you will just look at any calendar page while going over these instructions, you won't have any 
trouble understanding the principle. 

Dr. Daley has worked out the following formulae, which can be substituted to advantage in the computation of 
the dates selected. 

When the sum of a four-figure square is given, subtract 16 and divide by 4. This gives the smallest figure in the 
upper left corner. Add I to get the figure to right; and 7 for the figure directly underneath, and add 1 to that figure 
to obtain the figure to right of lower first figure. 

For four figures in a vertical row subtract 42 from the sum and divide by 4 for the smallest or top figure. For 5 
figures in a vertical row subtract 70 from the sum and divide by 5. You do not have to be told whether 4 or 5 
figures are being used as only one of these formulae will come out even. 

For any seven figures in a horizontal row subtract 21 from the sum and divide by 7. For a rectangle of six 
figures, two wide and three deep, subtract 45 from the sum and divide by 6 for smallest number in upper left 
corner. For a rectangle of six, three wide and two deep, subtract 27 from the sum and divide by 6 for the smallest 
number in the upper left corner. 



Effect: The assistant tears a monthly sheet off the calendar pad. You turn your back on him. He is told to mark 
off one day in each week. You now ask, "How many Sundays are checked?" "How many Mondays?" "How 
many Tuesdays?" etc. Immediately after this questioning you name a number. The man with the calendar sheet 
adds up the dates he's marked and finds that you have called the total correctly! 

Routine: Our secret is well hidden. A calendar page is illustrated. Try to use pages wherein 5 lines of dates 
appear, and the Wednesdays are represented by five date figures. However, those who use this will accustom 
themselves to the variations. It is only necessary to know the total of the five Wednesday dates, in this case — 80. 

The subject crosses one day in each of the five lines. More than one date can be checked off on the same day, as 
long as it's in a different week. You carry seven mental values: 

Sunday is minus 3; Monday is minus 2; Tuesday is minus 1; Wednesday is 0; Thursday is plus 1; Friday is plus 
2; Saturday is plus 3. 

Dates are crossed out in the illustration for example. When asked how many Sundays are checked, the reply is 1. 
You mentally say minus 3. There is no Monday checked so you repeat minus 3. One Tuesday. You say to 
yourself, minus 1, and combine it with minus 3 to make minus 4. No Wednesday. Two Thursdays, so plus 1 plus 
plus 1 are combined with minus 4 which gives minus 2. No Fridays. One Saturday, so plus 3 is combined with 
minus 2 which gives a final total of plus 1. In your mind you add this to the key number of 80, and 81 is the total 
of the five dates crossed out. 

Remember the key total of the five Wednesdays. This day is neutral. It doesn't matter how many such days are 
marked. Your mental figures do not change. The day values are 3-2-1-0-1-2-3. Always remember that Sundays, 
Mondays and Tuesdays are minus; Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are plus. In other words, minus to 
Wednesday; Wednesday neutral or 0; after Wednesday, plus. 



Here is another "Murder Game" stunt, along the lines of "Who Killed Mr. X," on page 144, but has the added 
virtue of being impromptu and also uses the assistance of a medium. 

Effect: Accompanied by a committee of one, the medium is escorted to another room. As soon as she is gone, 
the performer explains that a game of murder is to be played. The assembled group is allowed to select from its 
members the "victim" and the "murderer," and finally the manner in which the crime is to be committed. This 
being done, the two chosen individuals enact the murder and then resume their seats. To make this playlet a trifle 
more realistic, the performer explains that at the time of the murder the "victim" is seated in his or her home, 
playing solitaire and is about to lay a card on the table when the foul deed is done. To determine the name of the 
card held in the "victim's" hand, the performer borrows a deck of cards and has one selected, noted and returned 
to the pack by the "corpus delicti," its name being held secret by that person. As a badge of his profession, the 
performer presents to the "murderer" the Ace of Spades, recognized universally as "the death card," with the 
request that it be placed in that individual’s pocket out of sight. The remainder of the cards are given to a 
spectator to secrete on his person, and the performer is then escorted from the room under the watchful eye of a 

The medium is recalled immediately. She walks about the room finally stopping before the "corpse," and speaks 
as follows: 

"Alas! Poor Yorick. I knew him well! Remarkable life-like in appearance, but I see rigor mortis has already set 
in. Hm-m-m. Stabbed (or whatever the method employed was) while playing solitaire. I think I'll take a look at 
these cards (she pretends to pick up an imaginary pack of cards from an imaginary table and looks through 
them). Just as I thought!" 

At this point, the medium moves directly to the "murderer" and accuses him of being the guilty party, saying, 
"When you killed (give person's name) you thought you had committed the perfect crime. When you stabbed 
him, he was about to play the Jack of Spades (name the card chosen by the victim). Unable to accuse you in the 
flesh, his ghost carried that very card into your pocket. Look for yourself. See! It points a silent finger of guilt." 

From the above description, it should be clear that the medium finds first the "corpse," discovers the method of 
the killing, and then locates the "killer" who finds that his badge, the Ace of Spades, has disappeared. In its place 
is the card selected by the "victim" as the card to be held in his hand at the time of his murder. 

Preparation: How does the medium learn all these things? First of all, he or she discovers the "victim" and the 
"murderer" because the performer has dropped a short length of thread, less than three-quarters of an inch long, 
on each of their shoulders, when he escorts them to the center of the room to enact the "killing." The thread 
appearing on the "killer's" shoulder will always be white in color, while the other length may be any one of 
several colors for it denotes, not only the "victim" but also the type of violent death suffered. 

To conform with the story of the "victim" playing solitaire at the time of death, there are only four methods of 
murdering that could be employed, namely shooting, stabbing, choking and beating. The performer, therefore, 
will need four different colored threads easily accessible. He can prepare by taking a long length of each thread 
in turn, placing a needle on it, piercing the outside of one of the vest pockets, tying several knots (overlapping) in 
the end remaining outside and, with the knotted end pulled tight against the pocket, clipping off the thread inside 
pocket to the desired length. Arranged thus, any one of the four threads can be quickly procured by grasping the 
knotted end between the forefinger and thumb and pulling slightly. The white thread, which will always be 
needed, may be arranged in a similar fashion on the other pocket, if desired. Or the threads may be sewn into the 
inside edge of each coat sleeve. 

Routine: The actual presentation is simple. After explaining what is to be done, the spectators select the manner 
in which the "victim" shall meet his or her death. This gives the performer ample time to secure the correct 
thread for conveying the information, the thread being held between thumb and forefinger of right hand. As soon 
as the "victim" is chosen, the performer asks him or her to come to the center of the room, grasping the person's 
shoulder in a friendly fashion and dropping the thread thereon with a sort of a slight rubbing motion which 

makes it adhere to the cloth. The same procedure follows with the "murderer." After enactment of the crime, the 
performer forces a card, the name of which was previously agreed upon by the performer and the medium. Now 
the performer goes to the "murderer," locates the Ace of Spades and brings it to the face of the pack just above 
the chosen card. Two means of switching the cards are available. The performer can either do a two-card lift, 
turning both pack and double card and laying the latter momentarily on the face down pack, after which it is 
placed in the "murderer's" pocket or he can execute the "glide" which seems to be the cleaner of the two 

After that, it is largely up to the showmanship of the medium. When she returns, she circles the room with much 
peering into faces, feeling of pulses, etc., which gives plenty of opportunity to locate the two necessary persons 
and determine the cause of death. The names of the cards she already knows. 



Here's an effect of strange occurances that all performers who feature a stage show will find effective. 

Effect: On your platform are two chairs, back to back and about two feet apart. Resting across the backs of the 
two chairs is a sheet of glass and on it is a dummy rapping hand. 

A side table holds a plate of ten padlocks, another plate of ten keys, and a pack of ordinary playing cards. 

To his audience the magician says something like this by way of introduction: "My life of magic has been a 
much more interesting one because of an intimate acquaintance with orthodox magicians, we magicians do 
classify ourselves, you know, but after many years of travel and continuous effort to entertain. I’ve only lately 
established contact with those contemporary friends who have passed beyond. 

"Houdini? A lifetime spent in an effort to subjugate locks and restraining devices to his will. Thurston? One who 
made the art of stage card manipulation something to be attained by his followers. Carter? An illusionist who 
sought the bridge between here and the hereafter. Tonight I want to show you how I have made up my own little 
bridge between where I am and where they are." 

The wonder worker asks a spectator to step forward. The plate of padlocks is dumped loudly onto another 
container. The performer picks up one, hands it to the spectator, and says, "You can open it? No! Not without a 
key." He takes it back, tosses it into the pile, and picks out another which he hands the volunteer. "Try that one. 
Can you open it, without a key, any faster than you could the first?" 

The magician accepts the negative reply in stride and turns to the audience, requesting and getting a second 
assistant. For the while he apparently forgets about the lock being held by the first man. "Here is a pack of 
playing cards. Thurston made a long-to-be -remembered reputation with his smart handling of them. I want you 
to shuffle them as much as you please." 

The performer turns back to his first helper. He picks up the plate of keys. They are dumped into the cupped 
hands of this man and he is told to lay them out in a row upon the floor in front of himself. "You are holding one 
of the ten locks. Now you lay out ten keys in any order you please. Only one of those keys fits the lock you hold. 
I'll show you that the other masters of magic control this experiment and await my joining them." 

The magician turns to the second spectator holding the shuffled deck. He takes it, lays it on the floor, has the 
spectator cut it at any spot, and the cut is held by placing one half crosswise upon the other. 

The performer now steps back and shows the dummy hand which has been resting upon the glass plate between 
the chairs. "Before Charles Carter passed away," he says, "this very close friend of mine studied the possibilities 
of life after death. He was a famous trickster and knew all about the chicaneries of magical performers. Carter 
was my mentor." 

The performer picks up the hand and gestures with it. "Charles Carter led me to believe that there was something 
far beyond trickery, and I want to show you now that he may be helping me to make contact with that world in 
which he is living with his closest friends, Thurston and Houdini." 

The hand is placed on the glass inter-chair plate. It raps out a number. The "lock-key" spectator counts to that 
key — it opens the lock which he holds. Then the hand taps out the name of the card cut at by the second person. 
And then either of the two helpers may pick up the hand and look it over, as well as the plate of glass and two 
chairs. There is nothing to find, materially, for the shade of Carter has gone. With him has gone Thurston and 
Houdini. Only Blackstone remains. 

Routine: This trick has been a matter of routining. Ted Annemann wouldn't have wanted it but for the story and 

The deep bowl of locks contains only one you must watch. With them is the card to be forced from the deck later 
on. First you stir the locks a bit, palming the card, and then dump the locks out. Pick up any one of them (except 
the right one) and hand it to the spectator. Take it back with the left hand as the right picks out the correct one 
and gives it in return. 

The immediate switch of attention to the card selection is perfect misdirection regarding the free choice of a 
lock. The key later is chosen by hand raps, and people remember that the spectator had more than one lock in his 
hand. Taking the deck from the second person, you add the palmed card to the top and at once put the deck face 
down upon the floor. The spectator cuts it at any place, and you complete the cut by placing the lower half 
crosswise of the top half leaving it there for the present. 

Now pick up the plate of keys and tip them into the cupped hands of the man with the lock. Tell him to shake 
them up and then lay them out in a row before himself. You watch and help with this, noting the position of the 
correct key. Mark it any way you choose. Mine is file notched on each side so that it can be caught quickly 
whichever side is up. Remember that the audience cannot see these keys closely, and the helper is too excited to 
look for small file marks. 

You step to the back and pick up the dummy hand. Use the patter scheme at this point. Then say, "We'll put the 
hand on the glass and see what Houdini can tell us about your lock. I'm not going to ask you to name a number 
like two, five, ten, fourteen, etc. I'm going to leave it up to the master in the great beyond." You have thus cued 
to your assistant the position of the key in the row as laid out by the spectator. The last number you have named 
is twice the position number. In this case, the assistant knows that the position is seventh (half of fourteen). 

You now walk around the chairs once, hold out your hand, and the dummy hand visibly taps out (in this case) the 
number seven. Ask the first man to count to that key, and try it in the lock. The lock clicks open! 

Approaching the second person, you ask him to remove the top crosswise half of the deck and pick up the top 
card of the lower cut. This is a tried and true force for conditions such as this where the effect is the thing and 
there is no time for making the selection complicated. The audience always remembers only that the spectator 
shuffled the cards and then cut them at any spot. 

Walk around the hand once more and this time pass your hands directly across from above and underneath. Say, 
"I'm going to name the four suits, Howard. Make a sign through the hand when I name the one you like best." 
The hand raps at one suit named. The performer continues, "Now tell us all what value you like best from Ace to 
King." The hand raps a number of times. The second man shows his card. Thurston has revealed it! 

Immediately, ask your two helpers to pick up the hand, the glass, and move the chairs. "You don't see Houdini, 
Thurston, or Carter?" you say. "Well, they're there, and when the time comes for me to see them I'll tell them all 
about the times they've helped me entertain my audiences the way they used to do." 

The working of the hand is all that remains to be disclosed. It is perfect for stage and platforms where it allows 
of the performer passing completely around it, and the passing of his hands above and below. One end edge of 
the glass has a tiny smoothe cut slit which holds a large knotted thread. The diagram illustrates how the thread 
then runs to a high point at the 

side of the stage, and then to the assistant who operates it. The hand is free at all times and is placed on the 
thread forcing it down onto the glass where a slight pull tips it to rap as desired. With the thread running as 
shown, you can walk completely around the set-up and pass your hands directly above and below the glass. At 
the finish, pick up the hand, and pass your hand across under the thread, which disengages the knotted end from 
the glass leaving everything free for inspection. 



Effect: The performer shows a piece of white tissue paper to be blank on both sides. It is held at the fingertips, 
with the hands otherwise empty, and rolled into a ball. This is tossed into a glass on the table. A spectator is now 
invited to choose a card from a well shuffled pack. When the performer opens the paper ball, the name of the 
card is revealed in large black letters across the paper. 

Preparation: The card, of course, is forced in your favorite manner. The appearance of the name of the card on 
the paper is managed as follows: 

Use two pieces of white tissue about three by six inches. Across one, write in soft crayon the name of your force 
card. Place the two tissues back to back, with the message on top and facing you. At a spot 1 1/2 inches from one 
end, at the center of the width, put a daub of library paste about the size of a tack head between the two papers. 
Press them together and let them dry. Next crumple the message paper, from the four corners in towards the 
center, making a tight and compact ball resting at its pasted point. You are now ready. 

Routine: Pick up the prepared tissue with the left hand. Hold it with the second finger in front and the thumb 

behind and directly on top of and pressing down on the crumpled ball. The other fingers are kept open and. in 
this way, the single sheet of tissue can be shown freely on both sides and against a light. Exhibit it, then crumple 
it up so that the two pieces may be shown as one ball, and even toss it up into the air, if you like. Now throw it 
into the glass very openly, pick up a deck of cards and force your card. Pick up the glass, roll out the paper ball 

and open the message side to show that the spirits have written the name of the card for you. 



Effect: The performer picks up a fair size ball of wool with a pair of knitting needles through it, saying, "This 
was the property of an old Gypsie who used to be renowned in our village because of her ability to tell fortunes. 
With your permission, I would like to show you a most peculiar effect using this ball of wool and this glass 

The performer has replaced the ball of wool on his table, and from his pocket has taken a blank card and a lead 
pencil. He selects two persons as subjects. One is asked to name a number from 1 to 1,000,000. The other is 
asked to name any color. The performer writes both the number and color on the card, leaving it with the 
spectators as a check. 

Returning to the table he picks up the ball of wool, withdraws the needles, and hands it to a third spectator 
together with a glass bowl or dish. The spectator puts the ball into the bowl and unreels the wool. In the center of 
the ball is discovered a cardboard key tag. On one side is written the chosen number, and on the other side is 
found the selected color! 

Preparation: Of course, the reader has beaten me to the denouement, at least part of it. The coin slide comes 
back into a somewhat new use, but instead of a coin, Dennison or stationery store circular key tags about quarter 

on* *toe or disc wvens* 6tnc 

or shilling size (with metal edge) are used. The knitting needle part is an effective cover for the chicanery. The 
ball of wool is first wound around the tube in the regular way, leaving a good inch of the tube sticking out. The 
needles are now pushed through the ball just against the flat side of the tube and about a half inch apart. Such a 
prepared ball may be picked up and shown for a minute, the fingers on one hand hiding the tube which would 
hardly be seen anyway, for the yarn is dark red or blue, the needles white, and the tube black. The cardboard disc 
is also white. 

Routine: The wool is returned to the table and the card and pencil taken from your pocket. As they are taken out 
with the left hand, the disc is finger palmed also. The card may carelessly be shown both sides with the disc 
concealed, but it isn't necessary. When a number is named you hold the card in front of you and write down the 
number. The disc is held against the card and the number is written on that, too. You stall a bit by asking to have 
the number repeated. Then the disc is turned over while asking a color of the second person. This, too, is written 
on both the disc and the card. 

The card is taken in the right hand and given to someone, the disc remaining finger palmed in the right hand. The 
performer steps up to the table, lets his left fingers touch the top of the ball (which holds it steady) and the right 
fingers then pick up the ball from the rear, which action allows the finger palmed disc to slide through the tube. 
With the ball picked up, the performer swings to the left to face the audience. The right fingers curl around the 
protruding tube and the needles. With one move, the needles and the tube are withdrawn from the ball and put 

From here on, the mechanics of the effect are over. It depends entirely upon the individual performer's 
showmanship and sincerity to make the watchers believe in his prowess. 

(Editor's Note: The original patter theme of this Stewart James originality was not in keeping with the effects 
contained in this book, but we felt that the routine was well worth including. As a suggestion, we believe that 
some logical reason should be given for finding the metal tag in the ball of wool. You may like this. Show a 
metal tag and a drug envelope at the start of the trick. Apparently drop the tag into the envelope, which you seal 
and set in the bowl. Just before the climax, pick up the envelope, tear it open and touch a lighted cigarette to it. 
There is a sudden flash of flames! Then show the envelope empty, and produce the tag from the ball of wool as 
explained in the routine. The flash can easily be accomplished by having a small slip of flash paper already in the 
envelope. This unexpected touch should, we believe, add considerably to the effect.) Note 2: The knitting 
needles shown in the above illustration pierce the ball of wool incorrectly. They should be inserted parallel to 
and in alignment with the tube. 



Prophecy, in the form known as "The Swami Test," first popularized by Claude Alexander around 1920, has 
been a much experimented with effect. I have filed exactly sixteen variations and methods that have been 
marketed at prices ranging from $1 to $10. The following is my own method developed in 1925. Since then I've 
certainly had ample opportunity to test it out under every conceivable condition confronting the club and close- 
up worker. 

Effect: You use one small card, one small envelope, one pencil and nothing else. Both the card and envelope are 
examined and initialled. You write a prophecy on the card, seal it in the envelope, and then hold it in full view of 
everyone throughout the test. A number of three figures is called out, and someone else names any color. The 
mark on the envelope is identified first, then the envelope is opened and the card withdrawn. On the marked card 
is found written the exact number suggested as well as the correct color, and everything may be left with the 
audience at the finish ! 

Routine: Don't work too close to the audience, but stand back about eight to ten feet. Have the card and 
envelope examined and marked with a pencil, which is about two and a half inches long. You take back the 
pencil and card and pretend to write something on the card, but actually you write nothing. Now put the pencil in 
your right trouser pocket. 

Hold the envelope in your left hand, flap up, and with the address side towards audience. Now, from the 
spectator's point of view, you put the card into the envelope — but it really goes down behind the envelope, where 
it is held by the left thumb as the envelope is lifted up to your mouth to moisten the flap with your tongue. As the 
flap is bent down with the right hand, the forefinger of your left hand is inserted between the end of the card and 
the envelope which allows the flap to bypass the card. Your right thumb and forefinger are now drawn back and 
forth across the envelope, one on each side, to seal the flap. 

The envelope is held between your two hands, forefingers at front and thumbs of each hand at back holding the 
card against the envelope. Release the side held by the right fingers, and the left hand comes over towards the 
right wrist and deposits both the envelope and card in the palm of your right hand, with the envelope still hiding 
the card. The right hand is now held out so that the envelope can be seen plainly for a second while you are 

talking. The left fingers and thumb now come back and pick up the envelope at the same end as before, bringing 
it out to the same position as at first, between the thumbs and forefingers of both hands. Under cover of this 

move, the card is retained in the right hand and palmed. As the backs of both hands holding the envelope are 
toward the audience, the palmed card is never seen. 

Try this and it will be seen at once how easily the card stays in your palm because of its stiffness. The left hand 
now holds the envelope up in full view. Simultaneously the right hand with the palmed card drops down and is 
inserted in your right trouser pocket. When well in the pocket, you deposit the card and pick up the pencil. Do 
not remove your right hand, keep it in your pocket. 

Now close in on the audience, getting as near as possible. Pick out one person to name a number, which you 
immediately scribble on the card in your pocket as you look around for someone else who is asked to name a 
color. The moment the color is mentioned start to write it on the card under the number. In order to create a few 
second's stall, ask the spectator why he chose that particular color, if it is his favorite, etc. Being close to the 
spectators makes it difficult for them to watch anything but your face and the envelope which you are holding in 
your left hand and waving around a bit. When the writing is completed, step back to the front and bring out the 
right hand with the card palmed, and with the back of right hand towards audience. Rest this hand on your belt, 
or hold it at about your waist line for a minute, as you recall that you wrote a prediction on the sealed card before 
anyone had even mentioned or thought of a number or color. 

As you say this, bring the envelope down for a second and grasp it between your two hands as before; then place 
the envelope in your right hand just as you did formerly. This repetition of moves brings the envelope back on 
top of the palmed card in your right hand. At this point recall that the envelope was initialled for identification. 
The left hand again picks up the envelope from the right palm together with the card behind it, and holds it so 
that the card is not visible from the front. Now grasp the envelope at the top with the right thumb and fingers 
while the left hand tears off the left end of the envelope. Pinch this end with the thumb and forefinger of the left 

hand, and take this new grip with the right hand: Place the thumb at the bottom of the envelope, the second and 
third fingers at the top, and with the first finger curled up at back holding the card against the envelope. Now the 
left forefinger goes into the envelope while the thumb goes behind it, and the card is apparently withdrawn and 
given to the nearest spectator for verification of your prediction. 

Just remember to keep talking when first putting the card into the envelope, and speak about "sealing the 
envelope" rather than about putting the card inside. They'll take that as natural. All moves are done casually and 
they work smoothly once you have the routine firmly established in your mind. Try it before the mirror and, once 
you have gained confidence in the routine, you'll just go ahead and do it without a thought. 



For a nice club or drawing room item, this will be found excellent and it's extremely simple to work. 

Effect: The performer writes something on a card and seals it in a small envelope which is displayed in full view 
on the table. A spectator selects a color, another a card, and finally one is asked to think of a number from 1 to 
100. These selections are known to everyone, and opening the envelope a spectator removes and reads the card. 
It says, for instance, "Three persons will name the color blue, the four of diamonds and the number 73." And all 
is left with the audience. 

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Back in the early twenties there were many methods for accomplishing this feat and I gave my own in "The 
Book Without a Name." However, the one weak point, to me, was the necessity of jotting down the items as 
selected when any simple-minded person would find no trouble in remembering them. I honestly think this effect 
is almost as simple as it can be done. 

Use a number two size end opening drug envelope, a card cut a little shorter than usual, and one of the now fairly 
well known thumb writers. Make a slit in the envelope on the face side about three-quarters of an inch from the 
bottom edge with the thumb nail, so it will be a little jagged as if torn. Write on the card at the start everything as 
shown except the number, and space your writing also as shown. Put the card into the envelope with the flap side 
towards the audience and with the writing away from them. 

Tilt the card so it comes out through the slit as pictured. Seal the flap and stand the envelope against something, 
saying, "We’ll place this to one side so all can see it constantly." 

Now proceed to force the color on someone using your own favorite method (or refer to my "202 Methods of 
Forcing") and then follow this by forcing the card on another. At this time be sure to tell the selector to keep it 
pictured well in his mind. Fay the deck aside and secure the thumb writer on the right thumb as you carelessly 
pick up the sealed envelope with your left hand. Ask a third person to think of and name any number from 1 to 
100. He does so. Turning to the first person, you recall the color chosen. Then ask the second person to name the 
card he is thinking about. Then repeat the number thought of by the third person. This bit impresses on the 

audience that the articles are being thought of only, or at least, that's what they go away thinking. The slight stall 
enables you to bring both hands together and put the number on the card protruding thru the slit. 

At this time, the left fingers and thumb pinch the sides of the envelope and tip it a little, so that the card drops 
back inside. Immediately you tear off the end of the envelope at the slit, which destroys this evidence, and hand 
the envelope to someone to remove the card and reads it aloud. The psychology of having the last person think of 
the number is perfect and the people will swear afterwards, as I know, that all the items were merely thought of 
by the audience. Furthermore, they'll also swear that the envelope was on the table away from you when items 
were named. 



Of all the single or group reading methods that have been invented and created, I think none have been as 
practical and simple as the window frame idea. I've always thought that it was mine but after eleven years I'm 
not so sure. I made my first note of it on January 12, 1924, and thought of it while reading about an alcohol 
envelope fake on page 92 of Alexander's Dr. Q book. I handled a lot of correspondence then and passed it 
around. Later it was advertised in The Sphinx. Howard Albright used it in his Super-Psychic Mental book, and in 
June, 1934, it was reprinted (with permission) in The Indian Magician, India's crack magical monthly. 

I used it originally, not for a single reading (I didn't see its value as such then), but only "to get" the first question 
in a one-ahead routine with cards and envelopes. Here is the method of handling. It can be used for the above 
purpose or for a single reading, and is much cleaner and safer than any of the copies I have read. 

Routine No. 1: For those who do not know this envelope it is a regular drug size, end opening type (No. 2 is 
best) and the face side has been cut out except for a quarter inch margin around the edge. The envelope is on a 
stack of ordinary ones. Now a card, of a size to fit easily into the envelope, is written on by the sitter and is 
inserted into the envelope, writing side down, and the flap of the envelope is sealed. Picking the single envelope 
off the stack and holding it with its uncut side towards the sitter it is burned. Meanwhile the performer has read 
the question through the window side. There are variations and niceties in handling but we won't go into them 

Routine No. 2: My present method is to have the flap of the window envelope cut off. Six or seven envelopes 
are in a stack. In one envelope is placed a blank card such as will be used by the sitter for writing a message. 
This loaded envelope is second from the top of the stack, and on top of this is placed the window envelope with 
the cut-out side down. The flap belonging to the loaded envelope will now appear to be the flap of the window 
fake. The stack of envelopes, of course, are being held with the flap sides up. 


ouNvwxy card 

When the sitter has written on a card, he is told to lay it on the table, writing side down. Approaching with the 
stack of envelopes in the left hand (hold them from above with the thumb and fingers at the sides, and with flap 
ends outward) you slide the card to the edge of the table and shove it into the window envelope. Now catch hold 
of the flap and pull the envelope off the stack. Thus, the loaded envelope is pulled from under the window 
envelope which contains the written card and which still remains on top of the stack. Sufficient pressure with the 
left thumb and fingers will retain the window envelope in place, while the back of the left hand hides this 
"second deal" very nicely. 

Now hand the loaded envelope to the sitter and ask him to seal it and write his name across its back and face. As 
he does so, you turn and lay the stack of envelopes you are holding on a nearby table. With one finger flip over 
the window envelope on the top of the stack which will bring the message face up. A quick glance at it is all 
you'll need to read the message. I suggest working at a small table with a drawer on your side. Merely open it 
and drop the envelopes in, getting the information at the same time. Now take the sitter's envelope and burn it in 
front of him. This is positively the quickest method of getting sealed information without the sitter having any 
reason to suspect trickery. 



This trick, to my mind, is one of the greatest one-man psychic effects ever conceived. It has all of the elements 
necessary to make it your most talked about effect, and any performer with but a bit of showmanship can't help 
but make a hit with it. If you are endowed with a goodly share of showmanship this effect will create a sensation 
and can be built up to be the feature attraction of your show. 

Last, but not least, the effect needs very little preparation, and it can succeed under most exacting conditions. In 
short, we have before us an idea with unlimited scope. Another of those rare secrets wherein the method is 
nothing and the effect, from the audience viewpoint, is everything. Your audience will never tumble to the 

simple detail that makes it possible. The enormity of what the performer attempts completely overshadows the 
means by which it is accomplished. 

Effect: A packet of letter envelopes is all that is needed. About a dozen of these are passed out to different 
spectators and the performer returns to the front. Requesting those with envelopes to pay sUict attention, he 
instructs them to put into their envelopes some single article and personal belonging that is on their person. It can 
be a fountain pen, a tie clasp, a ribbon, a coin, a hairpin, a button, a knife, a pencil, a handkerchief, a card, a ring 
or in fact anything of a similar nature that can be sealed inside the envelope. During this time the performer may 
be turned around so that he cannot possibly see what is being placed in any of the envelopes. This looks 
important but actually means nothing insofar as the working of the trick is concerned. 

Once the envelopes are ready, the performer has them collected by a member of the audience and brought 
forward to him. This spectator mixes them and hands them on to the performer. He deliberately tears off the end 
of the envelope and dumps the contents into his hand. Turning whatever it might be over and over in his hand, he 
describes a person, giving the sex, type, approximate age (if a man), and a few details of the person's attire. He 
then holds the article so all can see it and asks the owner to acknowledge it. This person stands, and he or she 
turns out to be the one just described by the performer! Another envelope is opened and the article once more 
seemingly gives a clue regarding the characteristics of the owner. This time, however, the performer walks down 
into the audience and suddenly returns the article directly to its owner! 

As each envelope is handed to him, the performer successfully describes and finds the owner, or describes and 
merely locates the owner of the property. The patter is about psychometry. Mediums of this type are supposed to 
have the ability to "see" and locate people by touching some personal belonging. In this case, instead of 
revealing information about a "dear one," the performer is able, through the same power, to describe and locate 
the owners of the property he handles. 

As I have said before, the audience never realizes that the important detail is right under their noses. They all Uy 
to fathom how the performer is able to trace the owner of the ttinket each time, it being obvious that he didn't see 
what any person furnished, or knows in what order the mixed envelopes might be collected and given to him. 
And thus we have a test that can be made big or small, fast or slow as desired. 

Preparation and Routine: The secret lies entirely in the envelope, and it is only necessary to know to whom 
each envelope belongs ! 

My method of marking is to open the envelope with the flap towards you, and write a figure lightly on the inside 
of side which is nearest to you, about an inch from the left end. Have these envelopes in order from 1 to 10. 

It is far from difficult to remember who gets these envelopes, as they are passed out in numerical order from left 
to right. By skipping a person between each, or through some other system of layout, the envelopes are spread 
over the crowd in an order that you can trace. Those who have learned memory principles will be able to pass the 
envelopes at random and tie up each spectator mentally with the envelope given to him. 

In tearing open an envelope, have the flap side towards you. Tear off a half-inch from the right end. Your left 
thumb and fingers are at the bottom and the top edges with the flap still turned towards you, and the contents are 
tipped into your right hand. The number is near the edge on the inside looking up at you! Dog ear one envelope 
instead of marking the inside of it. When you get to it, you know the owner without having to open it. On this 
one you apparently get a stronger impression, so you describe him, locate him and return the envelope still 
sealed. It makes a nice variation, and is just different enough from the rest to be remembered by your audience! 

An excellent stage version for two people is possible with this test. After passing out the envelopes, the 
performer introduces a medium and blindfolds her. He then leaves the stage and takes up a position behind the 
drop from where he can see the audience and communicate with the medium, by any one of several well-known 
methods. She directs the sealing and the collecting of the envelopes. She sees the key number each time by 
looking down under her blindfold, cues the performer with a simple finger code, and he gives her a description 
of the owner's appearance, details about his clothing, etc. This version is a stunner for publicity with Lost and 
Found Departments ! 


This was originally published in the "Jinx" as "Gypsies Won't Tell" 


Probably the oldest and most misused method of answering or revealing written thoughts is 
that which makes use of the "one-ahead" system. Despite its age we shall try hard to show that the 
operator is at fault rather than the procedure. 

Effect: The performer has questions and notations written upon cards which are sealed inside envelopes 
provided. They are collected upon a tray by the miracle-man's assistant and placed on a table or in a bowl in full 

Singly, the master-mind picks up these envelopes and. with each held openly before him, proceeds to answer the 
question or reveal the thought encompassed within. In every instance the material object is returned to its owner 
immediately after the revelation. 

Preparation: In the past, the performer has had to resort to faking the answer to the first question, and utilized 
the "one-ahead" method of reading a query as a check up, while actually getting knowledge of the next one. Such 
a procedure always has entailed the necessity of keeping the messages until the end, when they might be returned 
in a jumbled bunch. 

Obviously, the performer cannot return each question envelope and card as answered. Time is the preventative. 
But, a helper, an assistant, can, unnoticed, return writing after writing to the owners while the performer, who is 
the center of attraction, carries on his work without a slackening of interest. 

Our main solution is dependent upon that assistant. Audiences watch the man dominating the stage. They pay 
little or no attention to the assistant. Let us suppose that the performer knows the contents of one envelope 
among the lot. We'll get to that angle later. While the master-mind may know what is inside one envelope, that 
which he holds in view contains unknown possibilities. He answers the known question. As he finishes he tears 
open the envelope and, apparently, reads aloud the query therein. Actually, he remembers what he sees and uses 
it as the next problem. 

In the past, these envelopes and contents have had to be kept on the stage. We want to have each written and 
sealed question returned to its owner after the answer has been given. If the performer cannot do it, the assistant 
can. If the performer cannot make a practical exchange of questions, so that the spectator just satisfied gets back 
his own writing which has just been read by the performer, the assistant can. By that premise we deceive. 

So as not to worry about an assistant's sleight-of-hand ability, we build a tray upon which he or she first collects 
the written thoughts and later returns them to their writers one by one. This tray's peculiar property is that it can 
change a dropped on envelope for another, and immediately change the next one dropped on for the one secreted 

Simply constructed of ply wood, the tray is not mechanical. Its value depends upon the assistant's handling of it. 
It is rectangular in shape and about six by ten inches in size. Around the edge is a narrow siding which gives an 
inside depth of about five-eighths of an inch. The tray surface is covered with a well-glued on piece of wall 
paper of striped or squared design. On this is glued a sheet of transparent cellophane and all dried under pressure. 

Next secure a piece of tin as wide as the inside tray dimension but only half as long. Punch 
small holes (use the end of a nail) in the extreme comers of the tin, and. using small finishing nails 
together with four bits of wood or metal bushings not over three-eighths of an inch high between the tin sheet 
and tray bottom, secure the metal to the end of the tray. Lastly sandpaper the tin well and cover it with wall 
paper to match that on the tray proper, followed by a surface of cellophane. Paint the edge of the tray, inside and 
out, using a color that contrasts with the wall paper. 

TRAY - 5IOE view 

If an envelope is laid on the tray proper and the tray is then tipped, the smooth surface allows the envelope to 
slide under the tin fake and out of sight. As the tray is never examined, or its surface seen at close range, this 
preparation has been found the most practical for the purpose. 

Routine: Assuming that the performer knows the contents of one message, the procedure is carried out as 
follows: The assistant collects the envelopes taking the first one received and drops it across the compartment 
opening, whereupon all others are deposited upon the tray at random. Knowing which spectator's envelope is 
"the one" he easily keeps it to one end of the tray, the unprepared end, of course. Then, when he returns to the 
front or stage, and dumps the tray's contents into a bowl or on a table, this one envelope is left behind and is 
tipped into the slot. 

While the performer finishes his introductory talk, the assistant retires or makes himself inconspicuous for the 
purpose of tearing the end off the stolen envelope. He keeps it at the unprepared end of the tray, where his thumb 
retains it against the bottom as he holds the tray at his side. 

The performer picks up any envelope, holds it to his forehead, and answers that which he already knows. He 
tears open the envelope as he is concluding, and reads the card inside. The card is replaced and at this moment 
the assistant presents the tray so that the writing may be returned directly to the person who has acknowledged 
his whereabouts. The performer drops the envelope on the tray's unprepared end and as the assistant steps away 
he drops the tray to his side and goes into the audience. The message just read drops into the slot and the original 
one under the thumb is retained. The spectator removes his envelope from the tray. And on the return trip the 
assistant need tip the tray but a little to bring out the concealed envelope into the "under-thumb" position in 
readiness for the next time. The performer, in the meantime, has already picked up another envelope and started 
his answer which serves to prevent any delay in the continuity as well as to keep attention from the assistant. 
Assistants are like waiters. They can be all over the place without anyone noticing them. 

In this case the performer never answers all of the queries written. There are always too many. He finishes by 
asking an audience member to pick out a final one from the pile, and he reveals its contents. The remainder of 
the envelopes are tossed aside or into the crowd. 

Readings for Intimate Groups 

The foregoing has explained the use of the tray. However, most readers will probably perform for comparatively 
small groups where a dummy or fake question for the first reading is not to be countenanced. Before large 
audiences it is a simple matter for the performer to fix up a theoretical query, answer it, and have the assistant 
deliver it to anyone back in the hall or theatre with the remark, "Kindly check the question, sir," and be sure that 
no commotion will result. We know of two very good and practical methods for gaining that first question. 
Rather than ask everybody to "write a question" we prefer to have them jot down "items" such as "events in their 
lives," "names of relatives," "the place where born," "the name of one's first school teacher," "the maiden name 
of one's wife," "social security number," etc. 

The performer hands out cards and envelopes asking each person to write a specific thing such as those 
mentioned. Only three or four are asked to write a question. The more varied this array of requests, the more the 
performer will hold interest during what would otherwise be a dull proceeding. Among these requests, he picks a 
person for some bit of data which he knows, having taken means to find it out. The telephone number generally 
is easiest. The assistant, naturally, takes care of that particular envelope in his aforementioned way. 

The second "out," when no previous information is available, uses that valuable "window envelope." The 
performer steps into his group of watchers followed by the assistant. He carries a stack of envelopes with cards 
inside. On the top of the stack is an envelope with most of its face (address) side cut out, opening side down. On 
top of this is a blank card. The performer asks a person fairly close to the front, "Think of some personal date or 
event in your life — something which you are certain is unknown to everybody here. Write it on the card so that 
you won't keep thinking of important happenings, remember something else, and change your mind. Put it in the 
envelope (he does so, writing side down, you wet the flap and seal, and toss it carelessly upon the tray) and try 
hard to keep that occurance on your mind. It will aid me a lot." 

You hand the rest of the stack to the assistant and tell the audience, "Each of you who take an envelope and card, 
please do the same. If you do not care to note down (here you recite the various possibilities as already 

outlined), you may write a question, something about which you would like to be helped. I'll do my very best to 
give you an answer." 

Now, you return to the front and, while your assistant takes care of distributing the writing material and 
subsequently collects it, you either discourse on the latent power of the mind, or perform some quick mental 
stunt that will hold the interest of the entire gathering. 

The assistant returns, and has the window envelope on top of all with the open side up and turned correctly. He 
offers you the tray. You mention that you'll take them at random and finger the pile, reading the question before 
you. Take another one and hold it up. The assistant dumps all but the window envelope onto the table and steps 
away to a spot where he can open it, remove the card, slide it into a previously sealed and torn open envelope, 
and retain this on the tray in the thumb position. Everything proceeds quite perfectly. 

This exposition of a derided and almost discarded principle has been written to show how it might be 
rejuvenated by modern day mystics. For once, the performer has relegated the undercover part of the 
proceedings to his helper. For once, the master-mind can leave the mechanics of his effect to the cleverness of 
someone constantly before the people yet never noticed. It is simply a case of the ultimate in misdirection when 
applied this way. 

Such a routine might well be used by any couple presenting a telepathic act. For instance, an assistant's help in 
the opening minutes to set the envelopes, while the performer does one or two psychic tests, accustoms the 
audience to the assistant's presence. Eater the assistant may "come into the open" and be a definitely recognized 
factor in the experiments to follow. 

With personal questions concerning love, business, work, lost articles, etc., taking up only a small portion of the 
routine thereby holding the interest of the non-participants, this seeming proof of a performer's powers to read 
sealed messages should be a strong spot in any program. By itself, such a routine ought not to run over 20 
minutes in an hour's show. Certainly there are few presentations requiring as little preparation. 



Faked envelopes all follow the same basic principles, but I think that I have a new variation and also a very 
practical improvement on the old style. I've never considered such envelopes as sound magic when they are 
obviously used to change an article. When an audience see the Four of Spades go in an envelope and the Ace of 
Spades come out, they at once consider the envelope as the medium of exchange and center their interest upon it. 
However, if a card is freely chosen and sealed in an envelope without being shown, and later it is removed and 
revealed to be the correct pasteboard, there is no outward evidence of it having been changed. The same applies 
to something you may write and then subsequently have read. With this thought in mind, I have developed a new 
faked envelope with three compartments. Two can be loaded at the start. You now write some- thing on a slip of 
paper and insert it in the envelope and seal it. Upon opening the envelope later, a paper is dumped out into the 
spectator's hand, not pulled out with a lot of fumbling, and this paper slip may be the original one or either one of 
the other two, as you choose. 

To prepare, have three letter envelopes before you and a small pair of scissors of the one sharp point type. 

Envelope No. 1 is left alone. Trim the sides, top and bottom of envelopes 2 and 3 keeping only the address sides. 
Fay these two inserts in front of you and follow these instructions: 

Apply library paste as shown in the illustrations. The shaded sections have paste, while the dotted section on No. 
2 indicates paste on the under side. This pasted surface in each case should be only a quarter-inch wide, starting 
a quarter-inch from the upper corners. I find it best to lay down a ruler and then apply the paste to the edge of the 
envelopes. This will guarantee that the paste strip will be exactly one-quarter inch wide and uniform for its 
whole length. 


Now lay the No. 3 envelope section onto No. 2, and then insert both into the No. 1 envelope. The whole thing 
goes under a heavy weight and is left to dry. As you look at the sketches, the two loaded papers go into the back 
and middle compartments. Assemble the sections (Nos. 2 and 3) together with the loaded papers and insert them 
all into the No. 1 envelope at one time. 

Study this for a minute and you'll see what you have made. Now insert a paper or card into the envelope as you 
would normally do. Seal it. Next open the envelope by trimming an eighth of an inch from the left end. Pinch the 
envelope at top and bottom, as you would normally do, and blow a little into it to open it. Only the rear 
compartment can open, and the contents fall out. On the other hand, if you trim the other end. only the center 
compartment can open. If you want the original paper, stick the point of the scissors under the flap and rip open 
the top. 

Thus, you have complete control of the contents of the envelope and can produce any one of the three you 
please. No fumbling, or inserting fingers and thumb into the envelope for removal of the slip is necessary. Just 
tip the envelope, shake it a bit and out comes the very slip you want. 



Those who have read the fairy tale version of Bluebeard and his wives will immediately realize that the mise en 
scene is easily applicable in the case of the seven wenches. 

Effect: The performer has seven drug envelopes which he explains represent the seven doors behind which 
Bluebeard incarcerated his wives. 

Seven cards picturing the seven beheaded ladies are shown, and their names are read from the back of each as 
the performer puts them into the envelopes, that is, behind the doors. For the present, the flaps are not sealed. 
Smilingly, the performer says, "It is not probable, but it is highly possible that Bluebeard, when on deviltry bent, 
and desirous of a fresh victim for his chamber of horrors, ambled benignly up and down the corridor selecting 
the lady by some simple whim or caprice." 

The performer offers to let the members of his audience play "cut throat" for a while, and asks that two of them 
merely think of the name of the lady who might be his next victim. Carelessly mixing the envelopes, the 
performer places the packet on the outstretched hand of one person and asks him to whisper loudly the name of 
the fair one destined for a gory fate. 

Now the spectator moves an envelope at a time, from the top to the bottom of the packet, spelling a letter of the 
girl's name with each move. On the last letter he stops and retains the envelope he then holds. From it he 
removes the beheaded lady. It's the one he had chosen! 

The effect is repeated with the second person, and once more an amateur Bluebeard successfully finds the lady 
he desires! 

Then comes the final test. The performer removes the heads from the envelopes. He picks on a third person and 
asks him to mentally pick the one lady of the seven he'd like to save from an undeserved death. Then he is asked 
to freely select one of the envelopes. While the performer's back is turned, this third person inserts the card 
bearing the lady of his choice into the envelope and seals it. He is then told to put the other ladies into the 
remaining envelopes, sealing them also. Lastly, the seven rooms (envelopes) are well mixed. 

The performer, without looking at the envelopes, takes them behind his back and pretends to be Bluebeard. One 
by one he tosses six of the envelopes aside. The remaining envelope is handed back to the third spectator, who 
opens it. As he is opening it he is asked to name the lady of his choice, and when he dumps the card out it is that 
very same lady! 

The stunt may get as fantastic as desired, but its dress makes it a somewhat different effect to carry around in 
your vest pocket. 

Preparation: Illustrated herewith are the pictures of the seven wenches. You can scale these up to the size card 
you want, then copy them in black drawing ink, or have an artist prepare them for you. On the back of each, 
letter one of the following names: Lois, Julia, Martha, Lucille, Theodora, Jeannette, Evangeline. Each name, you 
will notice, has one more letter than the one before it. 

You will also need seven drug envelopes. Into each, drop one of the smallest size embroidery beads you can get. 
Keep the packet together with the head cards, and you are set. 

Routine: Show the cards and. as you call their names, pick them up in the order given, put them into the 
envelope and pile them up. Pick up the pile and turn it over. As you talk, carelessly cut three from the bottom to 
the top, and with the right forefinger and thumb nail nick the top envelope in the right near corner. 

With the envelopes arranged thus, any one of the names will automatically spell out when an envelope is moved 
from top to bottom with each letter. The last letter hits the correct head. After the first spectator replaces his 
chosen head in its envelope, you put it on the stack and, in passing to the second person, cut the pile a few times 
to bring the nicked envelope back to the top. The second name now spells out. 

Next, remove the heads from the envelopes. It is well to remember that during all of this there is a single bead in 
each envelope. The spectators do not have much opportunity for handling them, and you, of course, never allow 
an envelope to be upside down when the flap is open. The third spectator thinks of a lady to save. You spread out 
the envelopes and have him freely point to any one. Pick it up, pinching its sides and turn your back. Hold your 
hand with the envelope behind your back towards the spectator, asking him to pick up his chosen lady. Tell him 
to take the envelope from you and seal her up. Like the old lock puzzle trick, this action has served to turn the 
envelope upside down without making a visible move of doing so. The bead will fall out, of course, and thus you 
get rid of it. 

With the other heads sealed in the remaining envelopes, it is clear that the chosen head is inside the only 
envelope without a bead. While the bead principle has been used before it has been necessary to fumble and load 
in a bead, not the easiest thing in the world to control. In this instance, it is the missing bead that gives the clue. 

Behind your back, when holding the mixed packet and facing the audience, it is simply a case of feeling each 
envelope's corners at the base, tossing aside those containing beads. The empty envelope remains until last and it 
is given to the third spectator. He first names the lady of his choice, and then opens the envelope to find her safe! 



The effect is begun with a few casual remarks about echoes. The audience is surprised and somewhat skeptical 
when informed that an echo exists not only after a sound has been made, but also before. To substantiate this 
claim, the performer offers to make a note of a few of the echoes that are now floating around the room, waiting 
for a sound to give them life. He takes from his pocket a calling card, and has someone initial the printed side of 
it for later identification. On the blank side of this he then begins to write, pausing impressively at intervals so 
that he may have a varied collection of the choicest echoes in the room. This card is then sealed in a small coin 
envelope and two persons asked to initial the sealed ends. 

The performer then asks someone to take a bill from his pocket and read aloud the serial number. This is written 
on a borrowed business card, the sealed envelope being used as a rest for it. Next, someone calls out about ten 
letters of the alphabet. (I've been getting a laugh lately by asking someone for his Social Security number.) 

Four single digits, supplied by four different persons, are now written in a column and added. The envelope is 
then placed to one side, well out of the reach of any curious person who may wish to examine it. The business 
card with all the numbers and letters is now handed to one of the audience, and that favored gentleman is 
formally invited to act as secretary for the remainder of the performance. Someone now shuffles a deck of cards 
and selects one. Its name is written on the business card by the secretary. The performer then asks the audience 
for the name of an automobile, and "Ford V-8" is noted on the card. 

After a brief recapitulation of the main points thus far, the performer takes up the envelope, produces a scissors, 
and permits the one who signed his initials first to snip an end off, reach in, and withdraw the card. The original 
signature is on the card and identified, and the number, letters, etc., are of course identical with those on the card 
held by the secretary. The envelope is then cut in half, and the persons who signed the ends permitted to retain 
the halves as souvenirs. Thus, everything used in the mystery is left with the audience, with the exception of the 

Secret and Routine: And now, the inevitable accounting. The envelope used has, across its center, a slit wide 
enough to permit the card to pass through easily. After the card is initialed, the performer writes at the bottom 
"Ford V-8" and above that the name of the card which he will force later Before starting, have this card in your 
pocket. When the deck has been shuffled, palm it onto the top of the pack ready to be forced. 

The performer then stalls a bit, and pretends to write more, frowning something like Rajah Raboid. The card is 
now slid into the envelope, guided from beneath through the slit, and the flap is sealed. After sealing, it is placed 
face down on a book, and held there firmly by the performer's thumb while the ends are signed. 

Someone is asked to read out the number of a bill, and, as an after thought, the performer borrows a business 
card so that the number may be noted. While writing, the performer retires to a safe distance so that the slit 
envelope may not be seen. The borrowed card is placed with its edge half an inch below that of the card in the 
envelope, and the writing done with a pencil gimmicked in the following manner: 


Prepared pencil. One rubber band It 
given about P dozen turns to bold 
peneili tightly together. Peneili should be sharpened at the tame time, 
to their strokes will be uniform. 

To the sharpened end of a regular sized pencil, the stub of a pencil (about two inches from point to end) is 
fastened by means of a rubber band. The small pencil is arranged so that its point is about a quarter of an inch 
behind that of the long pencil. Every performer will, of course, arrange it to suit his own manner of writing. 
Using this pencil to write the same thing on two cards simultaneously will seem a bit strange in the beginning, 
but it is much easier than learning to use a thumb writer. 

It will be found on experiment that only two sets of double lines may be written across the top of each card by 
means of this pencil. In order to have sufficient room on the card in the envelope to write the second line without 
cramping the letters, start the first line at the very top of the outside card with the bottom pencil. This may sound 
like Einstein talking in his sleep, but the idea will become apparent after a few trials. 

After the serial number has been written on both cards by means of the double pencil, move the pencil down a 
step and you will find no difficulty in writing the double row of letters as they are called out. Before starting this 
writing though, move the outside card slightly to the right. This will cause the line-up of numbers and letters to 
be varied slightly on the two ends. It is a small point, but the two cards might be compared later, and this will 
make them seem different, even though the formation of the letters and figures arc individually identical. 

The procedure for the column of figures is slightly different. After the letters have been recorded, slide the 
outside card to the right, so that its left edge is about half an inch from the left edge of the card in the envelope. 
As the single numbers are called out, they are written in the following manner. Turn the pencil slightly to the 
left, so that the upper lead is resting on the card in the envelope, and the lower lead on the outside card. You will 
find it a simple matter to mark the figures in a column, one under the other. Again, this column is in a different 
position on each card, a fact that someone may notice. Draw a line and add the column, putting the sum down. 
The pencil is now returned to pocket, the envelope placed back outward in a conspicuous but safe place, and the 
borrowed card, together with another pencil, handed to the new secretary. 

Front of envoi op*-— at flnUh 

Up to this point, the performer has (or should have) acted sublimely indifferent to the numbers and letters given 
him. This attitude is maintained in the selection of the card, so that no one may have the suspicion of a force. The 
performer then addresses the audience at large, and asks for the name of an automobile. He should move his gaze 
from one to another as he makes this request, and undoubtedly at least two will answer. One of these, and 
probably more than one, will answer "Ford." If anyone at all mentions "Ford," direct the secretary to write down 
"Ford V-8." In the rare event that no one does, ignore the names suggested, and continue talking. Say that you do 
not want merely the manufacturer's name, but the motor type also, as for example, "Studebaker Straight Eight." 
If no one then suggests "Ford V-8," it is because you have put them to sleep and they can't hear you. 

I must admit that I can vouch for the certainty of this force only in New York City, as I have never tried it 
elsewhere. Ford is practically a household word here, and I think it is safe to say that not one woman in a 
hundred knows how to designate the engine type of any car but a Ford. Anyone who doesn't care to risk this part, 
may substitute a standard color or book test force. 

After the card and auto have been forced, take the envelope, slit side down, and allow one of the signers to clip 
the end. Be sure he clips the end in which the lower half of the card is enveloped. He is then directed to reach in 
and remove the card. Take the card and the scissors from him, read the letters and numbers aloud, and after each 
is called out, ask the secretary to corroborate it. Hand the card to the one who signed it. While he is 
acknowledging his initials, cut the envelope in half, along the slit, and hand out the halves. 

At the start of the performance, have the prepared pencil in the upper left vest pocket, double end up. Next to it is 
a plain pencil, similar to the long one. This one is used to write on the first card and for signing the envelope. It 
is replaced in the pocket while the business card is being borrowed. The double pencil is then taken out and the 
prepared end concealed behind the envelope. With ordinary caution, there is no danger of detection. Do not use a 
pencil with a rubber tip. For obvious reasons this cannot be used to erase an error. If you think it necessary, carry 
a small eraser in your pocket. The distance between the pencil points (and consequently between the written 
lines) can be increased by wrapping a strip of paper around the stubby pencil before fastening it to the longer 



This effect embodies a demonstration of both magic and mindreading, plus a triple mystery and a novel 

Effect: The performer relates the story of a friendless recluse, a Mr. X, who appealed to the police for protection 
because he feared for his life. To represent Mr. X, the performer shows a small white card labelled Mr. X, which 
he inserts in a drug envelope and seals. Explaining that the police provided a guard for him, the performer folds 
the envelope in half and stands it tentwise on the table in front of one of the guests. 

Unknown to the police the recluse had one friend in whom he confided the name of the person he feared would 
harm him. This friend wrote down the person's name. To simulate this friend, the performer has one of the 
spectators take a plain white card and secretly write on it the first name of one of the assembled guests as the 
potential murderer. This card is then sealed in a second envelope which is also folded over and stood tentwise on 
the table beside the first envelope. 

*(Note by Annemann: In trying this problem. I found it to be more subtle if you write only the one column of 
figures on the outside card- Then draw the line, and when you add and mark down the total, write it on both 
cards. Previously, when you wrote something on the card to be sealed, you also wrote across the center of the 
card. "The total of the figures called will be." Then you left a little space, and then put down the name of the 
forced card and auto name. You have already prophesied the figures as found on a bill, so there is no point in 
prophesying a column. The second time you forecast the total of four figures to be called, and this changes, quite 
a bit. the appearance of the two cards when and if they are compared.) 

Then it happened! One day the old man failed to make an appearance and the police broke in and found him 
dead, stabbed through the heart. At this point, the person guarding the Mr. X envelope tears it open and finds the 
"X card" splattered with blood stains and a pin driven through the heart of it. 

The police were stumped until the friend of the recluse offered to help them by turning in the name of the man 
who might have committed the murder. However, when the second envelope is torn open — the card is found to 
be blank! At this point the police called in a representative of the Depart- 

ment of Justice (the performer) who solved the crime by locating the murderer. Acting out the part of the sleuth, 
the performer walks up to the person who had been secretly designated as the culprit and tapping him on the 
shoulder, says, "Bill (or whatever the secretly written name was) you are under arrest for the murder of Mr. X." 

Acted out, this stunt becomes an interesting story and finishes with a complete surprise to everyone present. It is 
perfect for clubs, and house parties where the audience is acquainted with one another. 

Requirements: You will need several small white cards of a width to fit easily into the drug envelopes. One of 
these cards has inscribed on it, "Mr. X"; another identical with the "Mr. X" card, but also bearing several 
splotches of red ink (blood) and with an ordinary straight pin piercing it; a third card on which you have printed 

the word "Name ," slightly below the center, so that the underscore line will come 

exactly even with the window in the cut-out envelope to be described later; and a fourth card, which is just a 
plain white card. 

Also needed is a package of drug envelopes, of the end opening variety. One of these has its flap cut off; another 
has a small window cut in its face at the end opposite the flap, as illustrated; and a third envelope which is folded 
in half with the flap side in. The remaining envelopes are unprepared. Have a wide rubber band handy. 

Preparation: Place the ink stained "Mr. X" card in one of the unprepared envelopes, tap it to the bottom, and 
leave the envelope unsealed. Slide the Hapless envelope up under the flap of this first envelope, so that they 
appear to be but one envelope. Place the plain white card into the folded envelope, push it to the bottom, seal the 
flap and refold the envelope. 

To assemble the packet, first lay the folded envelope on the table and on top of it lay several of the unprepared 
envelopes, flap side up. On these lay the two envelopes with but the one flap, the lower one of which contains 
the ink stained "Mr. X" card. These are also placed flap side up. On top of these place the "Mr. X" card, writing 

side up; then the window envelope, flap side up; and on top of all, the "Name " card. See 

illustration. Now encircle the center of the entire packet with the rubber band, bringing the band up high enough 
so as to hide the folded center edge of the folded envelope. When complete, the package appears innocent of any 

Presentation and Routine: Come forward with the package of envelopes on your left palm, flap side up. 

Remove the "Name " card and lay it to one side. Draw out the window envelope from the 

package and, holding it flap side up, lay it beside the "name" card on the table. Now exhibit the "Mr. X" card, 

tell your story and insert it in the Hapless envelope, still in place on top of the packet. Grip the flap of the second 
loaded envelope and, turning the packet slightly towards yourself, pull this second envelope off the stack. This 
switch is perfectly covered and no one should have any suspicion that you are holding anything but the envelope 
into which they saw you put the card. Tap this duplicate envelope on the table, ostensibly to drive the card to the 
bottom. While tapping, turn the packet of envelopes over in your left hand and then replace the tapped envelope 
on it as you fold it and seal it. Now place it tentlike on the table in front of one who promises to guard "Mr. X." 

Pick up the "Name " card and hand it to someone who is asked to fill-in the first name of 

some person present, but not to let anyone see what he writes. As he is writing, carelessly pick up the window 
envelope with the right forefinger covering the window. Going to the person who wrote the name, you hold out 
the envelope flap side up and, as your left fingers pull back the flap, you have him insert the card writing side 
down. Ask him to push the card well in. As an afterthought, bring your hand down on the table to tap the card 
well down and, under cover of this move, turn the envelope around so that the window is facing you. When the 
written name is visible in the window, raise the envelope with the flap towards the writer and ask him to moisten 
the flap. While he does this you read the name. Now lay the envelope, flap side up, on the packet in your left 
hand, seal it and fold it in half. The folded envelope should be exactly centered over the rubber band on the 
packet as you finish creasing it. 

As you continue with your story this folded envelope, bearing the secretly written name, is also apparently 
placed on the table in front of the writer. However, you actually make a switch of folded envelopes at this point, 
for as your right hand approaches the package to remove the envelope you just folded, the left hand turns slightly 
towards your body and the right hand actually removes the previously prepared and folded envelope instead. 
Thus, the folded envelope containing the plain white card has been pulled out from under the edge of the rubber 
band, and it is this one that is stood in front of the writer. The window envelope is still clipped behind or 
underneath the package of envelopes as they are dropped into your left hand coat pocket. Your story of the 

eventual murder and the disappearance of the murderer's name continues uninterrupted, and the effect is brought 
to a startling climax when you enter the case and locate the murderer by tapping him on the shoulder. 



If you could actually do mind reading you would proceed exactly as you do in this astonishing test with a 
newspaper ad. That is what arouses the amazement of everyone, the entire absence of any apparent method. 
Every move is done by the spectators themselves. If you notice that one particular spectator has an evening 
newspaper with him, you can use that or one of your own. It really makes no difference. In short, you are able to 
go through the test of reading a freely selected ad, word for word, without confederates or assistants. 

Effect: Any spectator freely and secretly clips any ten want ads from any page of a daily paper. These ten ads he 
seals in ten separate envelopes. Another spectator selects one of the envelopes and puts it in his pocket. A third 
spectator then freely chooses any number up to 12 or 15. The person holding the selected envelope opens it, 
counts to the word occupied by the number chosen, and concentrates on that word. The performer, after a trial or 
two, writes a word on a pad or a slate. When the selected word is announced, the performer shows that he has 
successfully written the very same word. If you like, the performer may give the contents or meaning of the 
entire ad. 

Preparation: A newspaper, or several of them to allow of a choice will be needed, together with a scissors, 
fifteen or twenty coin envelopes of any convenient size, and a paper pad or slate. 

The envelopes are laid on the table in a stack, flap side down and with the flap ends of the 
envelope towards you. Counting from the top of the stack, the tenth envelope has its flap over the end 
of the eleventh, so that later you may withdraw this tenth envelope and bring the eleventh one along with it, the 
two envelopes appearing as one. The eleventh envelope is already sealed and has within it a want ad, of which 
you have made a copy (lightly) on your pad or slate. Place a pencil dot on the upper left and lower right corners 
of this eleventh envelope on the flap side, so that you can spot it quickly when you fan the envelopes later. 

Routine and Presentation: "There are some people, principally those who are not scientists, who still believe 
that telepathy is impossible. This is because they have never had satisfactory evidence that mind-reading actually 
can be done. But we must remember that even scientists can be mistaken. Before the days of aviation a Harvard 
professor proved mathematically that airplanes could never fly, and when railroads were first introduced some 
doctors predicted that at any speed above 20 miles per hour the passengers would die of suffocation. Today, they 
tell us that a bumble bee can’t fly, because its weight is too heavy for its wing spread. Fortunately, the bumble 
bee doesn't realize this unfortunate condition, and flies blithely along and even makes a little honey on the side. 
However, I am not here to quarrel with the scientists, but to give you a demonstration which you may explain to 
your own satisfaction. 

"Has anyone a newspaper? Any newspaper. Or we can use the one I have here. It makes no difference. May we 
use your newspaper, sir? Thank you. In order that no one may suspect that you and 1 know each other, please 
pass the paper to somebody near you — anybody. Now, madam, you please pass it to somebody else. And you, 
young man, you too pass it to anyone at all. Excellent. Now, you, young lady, please turn to the want ad section 
of the paper and select any page — any page at all. (To nearby spectator): Will you please pass these scissors to 
the young lady. Now, miss, please clip out 10 of those want ads — any 10 that you choose — only clip each one 
fairly close to its edges, so there can be no mistake later. While you are doing that, I shall count off 10 envelopes 
in which we'll seal the ads." 

Pick up the stack, flap sides down, and deal off ten envelopes, one at a time, onto the table, counting aloud, 
"One-two-three-etc." Hold your hands about six or eight inches above the table to start and bring the hand with 
the envelope down to the table as you count "one"; then raise the hand to the packet and pick off another 
envelope and lay that on the table, counting "two," and so on. This will help the audience keep count with you, 
and will also cover the fact that the tenth envelope is in reality two envelopes. Count off the envelopes just about 
as fast as you would count off cards ... no hurry, but without losing time. 

Lay aside the remaining envelopes and pick up the ten just counted off with your left hand. The tenth envelope is 
now on top with the eleventh (sealed) one just below it. The envelopes are held flap side down and with the flap 
ends toward the audience. While explaining that you will have the clipped want ads sealed in these envelopes, 
draw off the top envelope singly, display it and then return it to the stack, but this time replace it at the bottom of 
the stack. This leaves the extra sealed envelope on top of the stack. 

Approach the spectator who has clipped the ads and ask him to insert one in an envelope and 
seal it. As you explain this, you turn the stack over in your hand so that the flaps are facing up. Draw 
off the top envelope and hand it to him. Suggest that he examine it and then seal one of the ads in it. (Your extra 
sealed envelope is now the bottom envelope of the stack. ) When he has sealed the envelope, take it back from 
him, add it to the bottom of the stack and then hand him another envelope from off of the top. Take back the 
sealed envelope No. 2, add it to the bottom of the stack, hand him another from the top and continue doing so 
until all his ten ads have been sealed. As you add the 10th envelope to the bottom of the stack, you will find that 
your extra envelope will be the top one of the stack. Cut the stack, bringing the extra envelope to the center, and 
force it on one of the spectators through the medium of the regular fan force used with cards. The pencil dots on 
this extra envelope makes it easy for you to locate it. 

If you have any trouble forcing the envelope, try this method: Fan the envelopes and say, "Will you please stick 
out your finger and just touch one of the envelopes? Just stick out one finger." Wait until he puts out a finger, 
then touch the fake envelope to his finger and hold it there. Then say, "Very well, please draw out the envelope 
you touched. That's right. Just put it in your pocket for the time being. Thank you." 

Go back to your table, lay aside the rest of the envelopes and pick up the slate and chalk, or the pad, whichever 
you are using, and say, "Will someone call out a number up to 12 or 15 — anybody at all. What number. Sir? 
Nine? Thank you. The gentleman selected No. 9 (or whatever the number selected happens to be). Is that 
satisfactory to everybody present, or shall we choose another number? Very well, then, we'll use No. 9. Will the 
gentleman who is holding the sealed envelope please open it and remove the ad. Now please count down to the 
ninth word and concentrate upon it. Don't name it — just concentrate." 

To yourself say, in a sort of an audible halftone, "No. 9 — No. 9 — word No. 9." As you do so, bring up the chalk 
and pretend to write on the slate, slowly and hesitatingly. As you do so, count off and note the ninth word in the 
copy you have on your slate. Once you have it, stop writing, hesitate, then rub out the word you started to write 
together with the copy of the ad. Then start again and write the correct word. Stand the slate on your table 
against a book, or place it on a nearby chair resting against the chair's back, with the writing away from the 
audience. Walk away and say to the person with the ad, "Who kept the chosen envelope? Who has it? You, sir? 
Please stand so we can all see you. Now that I have written a word, will you please read out loud the entire 
advertisement, word for word. (Wait) I didn't hear you, speak louder please. (Wait) Good! Now count to the 
ninth word and read just that. A little louder. (Wait) Oh, 'Experience.' Is that right? Yes, 'Experience.' Very 

"You remember, before the envelope was opened I wrote a word on this slate." Pick up the 
slate, "and the word that I wrote was 'experience,' as you can see." Turn the slate around for 
all to see what you wrote. Additional Hints: Always get the person who holds the envelope to read the 
whole ad and to repeat the selected word a couple of times in a loud voice. This fixes the word unmistakably in 
the minds of the audience and creates dramatic suspense. 

In cutting your own ad (the one to be forced) from a newspaper prior to the performance, be sure to choose one 
that has no other ad copy on its reverse side. Otherwise the spectator may read the wrong side. Since the 
spectator who reads the ad is not the one who cut the ads out, any difference in type, etc., will go unnoticed. 

In copying your ad on the slate, put 5 words to the line. This makes it easy to count to the desired number 
quickly. If you use a paper pad instead, tear off the top sheet, crumple it up and put it in your pocket after the 
first mistake. 

Any envelope will do, but the end opening coin envelopes are the best for most audiences will realize that these 
Kraft envelopes are not transparent. Also, when asking for a number, be sure that there are that many words in 
your force ad. 



Effect: In Robert-Houdin's autobiography there appeared an effect wherein the performer has a person write a 
question on a slip of paper which is then burned. Before the flames have flickered out, the person is handed a 
sealed envelope, which when torn open reveals a second envelope, then a third, a fourth, a fifth and finally a 
sixth envelope. When this last is opened there is found the original slip, bearing the message that everyone has 
seen burned. 


edges OE rubber cement 

A most intriguing effect, you will agree, but Monsieur Robert- 
Houdin failed to give us the secret. I have, however, worked the following routine with success. The only change 
being that I use but three envelopes where he used six. 

Requirements: A small memo pad, the type that is bound by a spiral wire. Plain paper inside. Size of the pad is 
about 2x3 1/2 inches. A small ash tray and a box of matches, a piece of red or green carbon paper and a pencil 
with colored lead to match your carbon paper. Most any stationery store can supply this equipment. 

Preparation: The first page of the pad is left as is. The second page has a piece of red carbon 
paper pasted to the underside of it. The lower right hand comer of this page is cut off at a 45- 
degree angle. The third page is torn away from the binding and then replaced. Another page is 
tom from the pad and folded in half, to quarters, then eighths. This is placed in your left 
outside coat pocket along with the ash tray and the matches. 

For the envelope part of the effect we will use Mr. Harrison's method. Make a nest of three envelopes as 
illustrated. Have the flaps open and coat the mucilage sections of the envelopes, and the sections where the flaps 
hit the envelope, with rubber cement. Let the cement dry. Rubber cement will stick to itself with very little 
pressure and makes a tight joint. Now sew a pair of paper clips to the lining of your coat just below the edge of 

the inside coat pocket, so that the clips can engage the ends of the envelopes. The envelopes, with flaps open, are 
put into place in the clips with the flaps pointing towards the edge of your coat. 

Routine: Open the pad to the first page and lay it on the table with the red pencil. Have a spectator write the 
name of any person, living or dead, his telephone or social security number, etc., on the first page of the pad. 
After this is finished, openly tear off this page and lay it, writing side up, on the table beside the pad. Remove the 
ash tray and the matches from your coat pocket with your left hand, at the same time palm the dummy folded 
page, and put the tray and matches on the table. 

Pick up the pad and apparently tear off the top page which is blank. Fold it so that it matches the dummy slip 
which you have palmed in your left hand, telling the spectator to do the same with his page which is laying on 
the table. Explain that this action guarantees that you will not in any way touch or handle the spectator's page. 

What really has happened, however, is that instead of removing the top page, you have pulled out the next page 
instead. When apparently removing the top page your thumb catches the corner of the page underneath, due to 
the fact that the same corner of the top sheet has been cut away. This underneath page will easily come away, 
having previously been loosened and reinserted, and will sound like it is being torn away. As soon as this page is 
clear of the pad, put the pad back on the table and start folding the page to match the one you have palmed in 
your left hand. Have the spectator follow your actions with his page. 

Be careful during the folding of your page that the writing (carbon impression) is not 
revealed. By the time he starts the folding of his page, your page is completed. While he is 
finishing the folding of his page, still under your verbal directions, switch the page you have 
just folded for your palmed dummy, and drop it on the ash tray. Ask the spectator to drop his 
folded page on the ash tray alongside of yours. Hand him the matches. As soon as he strikes a 
match, reach inside your coat with your left hand — which has the carbon impression page 
palmed — apparently to get something from your inside coat pocket. Load the palmed billet into the 
nest of envelopes, fold the flaps over, giving them a firm rub, bring them out and lay them on the table in full 

After the paper is burning, begin your buildup. When the spectator's folded page is completely destroyed, have 
him open the envelopes. Inside the last envelope he finds the very same page he has just burned. Stunning isn't 
the word for the effect this creates! 

The strong points of this routine are (1) The performer never touches the spectator's page; (2) The spectator folds 
and bums his own paper; (3) if someone knows about colored carbon paper, the fact that the only other page that 
was handled was burned, erases any thought that he might have along these lines; (4) The nest of envelopes are 
on the table while the burning page is still in the ash tray; (5) The discovery of the page in the envelopes. 

Second Method: In this method the only difference is that the carbon copy is burned by the spectator, while the 
original page is found in the envelopes. 

After the spectator has written on page one, pick up the pad and look at what he has written, saying, "I see you 
have written so and so. It is strange, but this was written by another person about four weeks ago during another 
performance." Ask him if he knows this person, giving a name. During this bit of byplay you shove back the 
corner of the second page and get a grip on the corner of the third page. Pull it out with the tearing sound, 
making it very realistic, and lay it on the table with the writing side up during the conversation. This gives the 
spectator the carbon copy. The performer then tears off the top page, the one originally written upon, and then 
follows the routine as explained. This puts the original page in the nest of envelopes. 

NOTE: You could also have the last three pages of the pad set up with a green carbon sheet. Thus a choice of a 
red or green pencil could be given and the pad opened from either side. 



The following effect, an outgrowth of Annemann's 68 cent Patent" idea, makes a remarkable prediction stunt 
with numerous publicity angles. 

Imagine being able to predict the day's news headlines, by offering your committee a notarized statement in a 
sealed and stamped envelope that was postmarked days, weeks or even months before! Proof positive that you 
are blessed with an unfailing power of prediction. 

Preparation: Fold a sheet of paper in half and trim its edges down to such a size as to just fit 
into the envelope you will use. Now apply rubber cement to the three edges of the folded 
sheet and stick them together. Take this pasted-up sheet to a notary public, have him date and 
sign the sheet, contents unknown, and then emboss it with his seal which will make an 
impression through both thicknesses of the folded sheet. Then go to the County Clerk's office 
and ask for a prothonotary certificate, which is a guarantee of your notary's authority to attest 
papers as of that date. Now enclose your prothonotary certificate with your notarized sheet and enclose 
both in an envelope. 

Apply rubber cement over the gummed flap of the envelope and also on the surface of the envelope where that 
portion of the flap will contact. Let stand a while till dry, then seal the envelope. Coat the gum on a postage 
stamp with rubber cement and stick it over the flap. Rub off any excess dry cement from the edges of the flap 
and around the stamp, and then write your signature across the flap. Now address the envelope to yourself, stamp 
it with the proper postage and mail it. Keep this envelope until the proper time comes to work your prediction. 

When you want to present the stunt some time later, just select the most outstanding headline of the day. Before 
going on your date, carefully remove the stamp from the flap, open the envelope and the sealed sheet and write 
the day's news event as your prediction on one of the inside folds of the paper sheet. If you have any trouble 
separating the cemented edges, just apply some benzol which will dissolve the rubber cement without leaving 
any telltale stains on the envelope, stamp or paper sheet. Now glue the edges of the sheet together and reinsert it 
in the envelope. Remove any excess rubber cement from the envelope and stamp by rubbing it off with your 
finger. Then only a "lick" is necessary on both the flap and the stamp to seal them down with their original glue, 
and you're set to confound the most astute audience or committee. 

For those who will use this effect time and again, I would suggest that you fix up six or a dozen envelopes at a 
time and keep them handy. 



But little preparation is necessary in order to present this mystery in comparison with the effect obtained. It is 
one of those stunts which many will like to have ready and prepared in their home for immediate use at a time 
when the company is in a receptive mood. 

Effect: The performer shows a bunch of manilla pay envelopes numbered consecutively from one to fourteen. 
These are all sealed, although empty, and may be examined at will. A spectator is requested to cut a pack of 
cards while performer's back is turned, and then to initial the face card of the cut. He is to replace this cut off 
pile, and then cut the deck again, deeper in this case, remembering the face card of this cut as a numeral only. 
Thus the assistant has selected and marked a card, and also has selected a number. The packet of numbered and 
sealed envelopes is on the table with the deck, and now all the lights are extinguished. 

In the dark the performer explains that vibrations from those concentrating on the selected card will reveal it 
while he is passing his hands above the deck on the table. A few minutes elapse, lights are turned on, and the 
magician states that half of the test has succeeded and that the light has been turned on to break the train of 
thought. It is again turned out, this time all concerned concenarte on the numeral only. 

When the light is on again, the performer announces that he has not only discovered the 
thought of card and the number, but also, through a legacy of Cagliostro, has caused a strange 
transposition to have occurred. The spectator picks up the pile of envelopes and looks for the one bearing the 
chosen numeral. This is opened and inside of it is found the noted and marked card! 

Preparation: To obtain this unusual effect, each playing card is treated on the face side with a dot of luminous 
paint at about the center of both ends. You will also need a duplicate of 14 sealed envelopes numbered like the 
14 seen by the audience. Seven are put in one pocket and seven in another, and they are in rotation so that any 
numbered envelope may be secured quickly. 

Routine: To present, lay the sealed set of envelopes and the pack of cards on a table near a lamp, if possible, and 
put out all the other lights. When the cards are cut, the light strikes the paint and livens it up. The topmost cut is 
the autographed card, the lower one is the numeral. In the dark fan the deck faces toward you. Transfer the first 
luminous card (numeral) to the face of the deck; the next one (marked) to the back or top of the deck. When the 
lights are snapped on to break the train of thought apparently, you pick up and square the deck and the envelopes 
as you explain this, noting the numeral card. With the lights out again, remove the properly numbered envelope 
from your pocket and in it seal the top (marked) card from the deck. Count down in the envelope pile and 
remove the correct envelope (they are in order), putting yours in its place. The light is turned on again, and the 
effect is brought to a climax. 

You will find it best to save most of your patter for the periods when the lights are out. It makes the interval, 
short as it is, seem much shorter. 

(Editor's Note; This excellent effect can be all accomplished the tot time the lights go out, if the cards used are 
"pricked" in accordance with the Charlier System as explained by Prof. Hoffman on page 66 of "More Magic". 
Although the Charlier pack was a Piquet pack of 32 cards this would not be any drawback. However, there is 
another system of "pricking" the cards so that they may be read by touch, and which employs a full pack of 52 
cards. This is the "C-N-H System" which is Wilf. Huggins' application of the Charlier idea to the Nikola Bet-up. ) 



This is an original Annemann effect to which he added a subtlety with colored chalk by Norman Ashworth, a 
little known medium dodge by A1 Baker, and the familiar window envelope to create as perfect a routine as you 
will find anywhere. 

Effect: A prominent spectator is asked to think of some friend of his who has passed on, and to write that 
person's name on a card which is sealed in an envelope. When this has been done, the performer shows two 
slates on the four sides of which he writes a jumbled series of letters, which he explains he is passing on into the 
spirit world so that they may be used for a return message. The slates are now cleaned and another spectator is 
allowed a free choice of any one of a number of different pieces of colored chalk. He selects one and initials the 
two slates, which he holds stacked. The performer then picks up the sealed envelope saying, "Now, for the first 
time we shall learn the identity of the person of whom our friend has been thinking." The envelope is torn open 
and the name is read aloud. When the slates are opened, one bears the name of the first spectator's departed 
friend . . . and the name is written in the same color chalk as selected by the second person! 

Requisites: Two slates and one silicate flap. On one side of the flap write three rows of mixed letters in white 
chalk, making the letters large enough to cover the entire surface of the flap. Also needed is a small drug 
envelope and a blank card to fit it. The envelope is faked by cutting a window in its face side. 

Preparation: The flap, writing side downward, is laid on the table overlapping a side edge by about an inch. The 
two slates lie on top of flap. Also on the table are several pieces of colored chalk, all different, and to one side is 
a piece of white chalk. 

Routine: A prominent spectator is asked to think of some departed friend and, just for the 
purposes of the test, to write this person's name on a card which you hand him. Have him 
insert the card, face down, in the (faked) envelope which you hold flap side up on your left 
palm. Your fingers cover the cut out front, which is against your palm, while your right fingers 
turn down the flap and hold the envelope open to make it easy for the spectator to insert the card. You assist him 
by giving the card the final shove, and then you seal the envelope. Finally you write the spectator's initials across 
the flap, and then stand the envelope against something in full view with the 

initialled side facing the audience. In doing this, you have ample opportunity to read the name showing through 
the window, which will be facing you, as you stand the envelope on the table. 

You now pick up the two slates (without the flap), show them to be clean and lay them on the table again. Then 
show the colored chalks and allow some spectator to make a free choice of one color. These colored pieces of 
chalk should be about two and one -half inches long. When one is selected you pick it up and pass it to the 
spectator, but just as you pick it up you break off a piece and retain this piece in your hand. It is all done with 
one hand. Keep this colored piece palmed, as you pick up the white chalk from the table with your fingertips. 

Now pick up one slate and proceed to cover both sides of it with mixed letters. To make the slate maneuvers 
clear, let's call them No. 1 and No. 2, and I suggest that you follow the routine with slates and chalks in hand. 
Cover the side of slate No. 1 with three rows of mixed letters in white chalk. Turn the slate over, so the lettering 
faces the audience, and apparently continue, but on this side the dead name is put down in colored chalk. The 
white piece being held at your finger tips is dropped to your palm, and the colored piece merely worked up to the 
finger tips. As this switch is made behind the slate, you should experience no difficulty. After writing, switch the 
two chalks again. 

Without showing this side, lay this slate on the table — over the flap — with the name side down. At the same 
time pick up slate No. 2, and drop the palmed piece of colored chalk out of view among the other pieces of chalk 
on the table. Now fill both sides of slate No. 2 with mixed white chalk letters. You are holding this slate in your 
left hand, so you reach to the table with your right hand and pick up slate No. 1 together with the flap. With a 
slate in each hand, and the flap in place on slate No. 1, you are able to show both sides of each slate freely. 

Put slate No. 2 under your right arm and, with a pocket handkerchief, clean slate No. 1 on both sides. Lay it on 
the table with the flap side down. Now clean slate No. 2. Pick up slate No. 1 again, leaving the flap on the table, 
and lay it on top of slate No. 2 which you are still holding. Have the spectator, with the colored chalk, initial the 
two outside surfaces, and then let him hold them. On the inside of the top slate is the dead name in the chosen 

The envelope is now opened and the dead name is read aloud. The faked envelope, which has been displayed and 
held with its flap side to the audience throughout, is crumpled up and put in your pocket. Everyone now turns to 
the person with the slates and watches as he opens them and finds the chosen name in color! 

As a variation you can use a slit envelope, instead of the window. This should be an end opener No. 2 Drug 
envelope. On the face side make a slit across the envelope 3/4" from the top when the flap is closed. In using 
this, lay it diagonally across your left hand with the flap side up and open, and pointing outwards. You aid in 
shoving the card in, and manage to lead the card through the slit so that it lies between the face of the envelope 
and your palm. The writing faces your palm, so in setting the envelope aside clip the card against the face of the 
envelope with your right thumb as you pick up the envelope off your left palm; hold the card side of the 
envelope facing you and glimpse the name. Now set the envelope on its edge against a book or some other object 
on your table. When you are ready to open the envelope later, pick it up with your right hand, with thumb at the 
back holding the card, and push the envelope into your left hand between the left thumb and first finger with the 
flap of the envelope to the right. The back of the left hand is held towards the audience, and the left thumb draws 
the card down into the palm and out of the slit. The card will only have to be moved about a half inch to clear the 
slit. The right hand now grasps the top of the envelope (flap end) and tears the envelope straight across right 
along the slit. The card is now apparently withdrawn from inside the envelope, really from back of it, and 
everything may be examined as there is no telltale evidence left. 



One of the greatest effects in thought transmission is the coding of pictures freely drawn by the audience. It goes 
without saying that it is at the same time the most intricate of methods. Julius Zancig was most adept at this feat 
and developed it over a period of years through undisputed ability, plus a thorough grounding in transmission 

What I am presenting here is quite marvelous to an audience and, at the same time, satisfying to the most exact 
performer in regards to cleanliness of working. 

One needs only a set of 32 five-inch square cards and a large slate with chalk. These cards are best made of 
white drawing board. This can be obtained from stationery stores in sheets about 22 by 28 inches in size. On one 
side of each card is drawn a simple sketch with black drawing ink. The sketches are made very heavy and as 
large as possible. On the illustrated slate I have drawn the ideas I am using myself, although any others can be 
put to use. 

Effect: The set of illustrated cards is freely shown to consist of 32 different and simple ideas. The performer 
says that he will try a test of 

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thought transference with members of the audience. Pictures will be used rather than letters or figures because 
they are better visualized in the mind. The cards, as the performer speaks, are mixed in a fair manner (but not 
shuffled like playing cards) and then placed in a stack with drawing sides down on the slate. Approaching a 
subject to be, the performer asks him or her to pick off a number of the cards in a bunch, and hold this stack with 
face of same close to the body for the time being. Without touching the cards left on the slate, the performer 
passes to another spectator and has him repeat the procedure. The few cards left are put aside and the performer 
stands a few yards in front of one spectator with nothing but the slate and chalk in hand. For the first time the 
assistant is asked to look steadily at his drawing ( i. e. : The bottom card of his stack) and concentrate upon it. It 
may be mentioned that at no time can the performer see either the face or back of the drawing being looked at, 
and that the selection has been left entirely to chance. However, the rest of the audience will know that and it is 
best not to emphasize the points. 

Drawing something on his slate, the performer asks the spectator to show everyone the drawing on the card he 
selected. Turning his slate, the performer shows his sketch to be the same! Passing to the second spectator the 
test is repeated, with the performer duplicating on the other side of his slate the picture selected by this man! And 
everything may be left with the audience, if you so desire. 

Preparation: The pictures are stacked but not in any memorized order. Draw these pictures, in the same order, 
with a pencil across the center of the slate. Your sketches will, of course, be very small. 

Routine: Hold the pack of cards face down in your left hand. Take a bunch from the top with the right hand and 
apparently mix the two bunches together. Really though, a few from the top of the right hand are left on the 
bottom of the left pile, and then a few from the bottom of the right pile are left on top of the left stack. Repeat 
this maneuver until all of the cards in the right hand are exhausted, and then repeat the mixing, if desired. Do not 
attempt to shuffle the cards, but just mix them loosely and apparently at random, and you will have the best false 
mixing possible. When you have gone through a mixing or two, the cards are in the same order and have only 
been cut, which does not matter. 

Approaching your assistants, they each cut off a bunch of cards and hold them against their bodies. Now lay 
aside the few remaining cards on your table and, as you drop them face up, your fingers spread them a little so 
that you get a glimpse of the top card. This is your key to the second person's card, which will be the card just to 
the left of the key card on your slate list. 

As you pick up your slate, you spot the second person's drawing as just explained, and you ask him to look at his 
card and concentrate on the drawing it contains. Now turn your slate over and reproduce his drawing on the 

clean side of your slate. Make the sketch large enough for everyone to see it, but do not show it as yet. Ask him 
to show his card to the audience, and as he does so you turn your slate over and show that you have successfully 
drawn the same picture. 

Take the bunch of cards from this second spectator and lay them aside exactly as you did with the first bunch, 
spotting the top card of the packet. From this second key card you learn the first person's drawing as already 
explained. Ask him to concentrate on his drawing while you reproduce it on the opposite (list) side of the slate. 
Arrange your sketch with heavy lines so that it blocks out the list. Then have this first man show his drawing and 
you show your duplicate sketch for a smashing climax! 

I doubt if a cleaner method of duplicating pictures can be devised for one person. From the viewpoint of the 
audience, it is very convincing and fair in every way. 



In effect, the performer asks two spectators to come forward and stand on each side of him. 
He hands a pack of cards to the first spectator and asks him to cut somewhere and remember 
the card at the cut. The second person is asked to decide upon any simple picture or diagram 
he may like. Both are given slips on which they jot down their mental ideas. Close at hand is 
an ash tray. The slips are tom and burned while the performer picks up a slate. Standing 
between the two people, but a little to the rear, the performer writes and draws on the slate. 
Now the first person names his card, and the second person shows his thought of picture. The 
slate is turned, and upon it the performer has duplicated the picture or diagram, and in the 
center of the sketch has written the name of the card. This makes a telepathic effect suitable for large or small 

There are certain variations that can be used by those who adopt this trick, but as it stands now, it has a double 
climax which does away with the usual one at a time revelations. 

Requirements: As I have been doing it, a one kind forcing deck is used for cleanness. Some may think this a 
funny idea of "cleanness" but I mean from the audience standpoint. The minute you start messing around, the 
spectators get lost in following you, so the presentation, as far as they arc concerned, must be direct and open. 

Have the deck in your right coat pocket with the usual different card at the bottom. You will also need a few 
pieces of opaque white paper, about two by three inches in sizes, which you have in readiness in your vest 
pocket, a couple of pencils, an ashtray, matches and a slate. A piece of chalk in your left coat pocket completes 
the set-up. 

Routine: Have the spectators standing on each side of you about three yards apart. Take out the deck and 
overhand shuffle it, the fingers of the hand holding the deck retaining the bottom odd card in place. Explain to 
the first spectator that you want him to look at a card by chance while he has the deck in his possession. He is to 
hold it flat on his left hand, and with his right merely cut off a bunch of cards, look at the card thus cut, and 
replace those removed. As you say this, illustrate by cutting off a bunch and looking at the face card, but don't let 
it be seen. Now deliberately put the deck on his left hand and step back. The moment he replaces the cut, step up 
and take the deck. As you take the deck from him, turn and ask the second person to think of a geometrical 
design or any simple picture that he likes, and which means something to him. Do not hesitate or stall between 
taking the deck and giving these instructions. The card selection has been so direct that no one gives it a thought, 
especially with the immediate request for a picture and because it is a bizarre idea in comparison to a card. 

As the spectator says he has a picture in mind, drop the deck in your left coat pocket and at the same time take 
the two papers from your vest pocket and give one to him. Suggest that he draw the sketch so he'll have a 
definite and clear cut picture in his mind. Then give the other paper to the first spectator with the remark that he 
also write down his thought-of card in order to firmly fix it on his mind. (I've tried various routines for this part, 
and the described actions worked out best.) Now ask them to fold the papers tightly, once each way. 

Explain that in ancient times, the soothsayers gazed into the smoke of burning incense, or at some personally 
owned article to divine secrets pertaining to that person. You will attempt the same thing, but in a smaller way. 
Look at the first person and remark that you want him to tear and burn his paper. Continue, "Look, tear it and 
then burn it like this." As you say this, you reach out and take the paper the second man is holding. Still 
addressing the first person, tear up and steal the center piece as already described in "The Mind-reading Publicity 
Effect," page 30. The right fingers finally take all the torn pieces, except the center piece which you have clipped 
between your left thumb and first finger, as you step over to an ash tray where you drop them. As you finish this 
action, repeat: "Just be sure the pieces are small and will bum easily." 

Now watch the first person, the one who selected the card, tear his slip and put it with the pieces you dropped in 
the tray. Then tell the second person to light them. Up until now you have ignored him since taking his paper. 
Afterwards both will swear, as do the audience, that they have torn and burned their own papers. The described 
maneuvering is perfect misdirection for what takes place. 

As the second person lights the paper, you pick up the slate and step back. Your left hand reaches into your 
pocket for the chalk as you direct the burning of the papers, and you flip open the folded center piece you have 
finger-palmed in your hand. The piece is small enough to be palmed but you only open it half way. Bring it out 
and put it under the tip of your right thumb which is holding the slate, opening out the paper at the same time. 

Now ask both parties to think intently of the card and the picture. Start to make a few rough lines on the slate 
with the chalk held in your left hand. Just a glance at the paper under the right thumb and you have the picture. 
Look at the second person and suggest that he concentrate a little harder on the picture, visualizing it as a whole 
and not as individual lines. Catch hold of the slate with your left hand as your right hand, with the slip, reaches 
into your pocket for a handkerchief with which to wipe off the slate. Naturally the paper slip is left behind, and 
you are now free to finish the picture, and write the name of the card in the center of it. 



Effect: The performer picks up a packet of four-inch square papers. "I have here," he says, "the 26 letters of the 
alphabet cut from a type of paper not available to the public. You, sir," addressing some member of the audience, 
"will please think of someone who was a close relative or friend — someone not now living — what is the initial 
of his first name?" 

Let us suppose the letter mentioned to be M. The performer hands the packet to the person with the request that 
he look through — they all are in order — and remove that particular one. 

During this interval the mysticist shows two slates. "These are available to the public," he says, "and we shall 
use them in a way to prove beyond reasonable doubt that something strange is at work here tonight." 

He openly shows the slates to be clean of anything foreign and at the same time marks the sides 1, 2, 3 and 4. Put 
together, the slates are handed to the spectator as the performer takes back the letter, in this case M. 

"When people or things on this earth are destroyed," he continues, "the meaning, the spirit, or the soul flies into 
another level of being." The performer, during this, is tearing the lettered paper into strips and the strips into 
parts. He makes them into a flat bundle and approaches the man with the slates. 

Opening the slates just a little he definitely drops the paper within. And he takes back the remainder of the 
alphabet papers when he steps away. 

"Now let's sec if conditions are right for a successful contact with your thought in what spiritualists see fit to call 
"the happy summerland." 

The performer paces back and forth several times, covering a short distance. No talk is necessary. The audience 
always waits. Then the spectator is asked to get up and come forward. He opens the slates. 

"Take the paper," says the performer, who then takes the slates. He shows the inside surfaces. Upon one slate 
appears a message somewhat like this, "Dear Harry: Conditions are good here. It's not the same as before but I'm 
as happy as I deserve to be. I've put my initial back together again in case Annemann (or your name) wants to 
make contact for someone else." 

The performer looks at his subject, "You are Harry?" And when the person admits it, he further asks, "Open up 
the pieces of paper." 

The torn pieces are in restored fashion and the letter M goes back to the packet. And there isn't anything to be 
found wrong with the visible and available objects used before the audience. 

Preparation: You need two sets of alphabet papers. The sheets are cut four inches square and large black letters 
inked on. Only two papers need be replaced at each performance. The paper should be of good linen quality on 
the heavy side. 

One set of papers is folded up in a hap-hazard way to about 1 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches in size. These 26 billets 
are deposited in a regulation "Cards from the Pockets" index as sold by all dealers. Only one of the two indexes 
supplied is used. It will hold 26 of these papers in place of the half deck it was made to contain. You know them 
as 1 to 26 and the index is placed in your left trousers' pocket. 

The slates? On one side of one slate the message is written. Beforehand, pick some one person in your audience, 
one not seated in a spot difficult to reach, and learn his or her first name. That's what you fill in after "Dear 


Routine: The performer picks up the slates and numbers them. The numbering of the slates is done as follows: 
In one corner of the message side put the figure 1 . This side is at the bottom outward of the stack of two, figure 
towards the audience as you hold them at first, keeping the message side down. Openly mark the top side with a 
figure 1 to match. Your right hand takes hold of the slate at the right outer corner, turns it outward like an end- 
hinged notebook and brings it back underneath the other. The new surface next is numbered 2 on its outer left 
corner. The same hinge move and come-back underneath is made, but during the action the slates are brought up 
a bit to face the performer. He writes a 3 on the new surface and then lowers the slates to show the numeral. He 
then lifts them again towards himself and apparently makes the same move for the third time but actually, the 
hinged out slate, instead of going underneath the other, is brought down on top of the slate in left hand. 

Without a pause, he is seen to write the number 4. However, facing him now is the number 1 side and his action 
is simply that of changing the 1 to a 4. Then the slates are lowered and the audience sees it in all fairness. The 
slates are given to the spectator with his right hand, and, while he explains that as little light as possible should 
get between them, the performer's left hand has dropped to his pocket and secured the letter needed. He takes 
back the selected letter with his right hand, it is shown all and torn. After the pieces are folded to about the 
correct size a finger switch is made and the performer approaches the spectator quickly, his left hand diving 
deliberately to his left trousers' pocket again to get rid of the pieces, and comes out with a large rubber band. 

"Open the slates just a little," the performer requests, "the pieces of the initial should help to get a direct line 
open to the hereafter." The restored paper is pushed inside and the rubber band snapped around all. "That should 
help to keep light out." 

The effect is done except for presentation of the finish as described before. 

I made this up and have used it recently. The torn and restored initial definitely has possibilities. With other 
restored paper effects there was little or nothing to differentiate between that destroyed and that restored, except 
in the simple cases of Chinese laundry slip markings and magazine pages. 

In this case we have a restored letter freely picked by a member of the audience, plus a message via slates, and a 
clean finish that will stand investigation. 



Effect: From out of the past I have taken a slate writing principle, long off the market, and utilized it in this 
problem. Bruce Hurling's method for getting rid of a "flap" while standing before an audience in view of all may 
be used for countless effects. It should not be forgotten. 

To his watchers the performer shows a slate blank on both sides and identifies these sides by writing initials on 
each as called out to him. The slate is stood in full view of everyone for the time being. Next are shown three 
current newspapers having blatant headlines. A spectator aids in the choice of one, whereupon the performer 
quickly cuts the headline words apart and puts them onto a table or the floor in crumpled up balls. 

Another spectator does his part in the choice of one word, and he reads it aloud for all to hear. He, himself, then 
approaches the slate and shows both sides. And on the slate, which may be passed around for avid inspection, is 
shakily chalked the very word picked ! 

Method and Presentation: In concocting this method I discarded the use of cards, dice, counters, etc., for the 
choosing of a word because, in the case at hand, they were objects "foreign" to the subject. It is necessary only to 
have the slate with special flap, two newspapers, chalk, and shears. 

Let's cover the "selection" of the word before describing the genius-like qualities of the slate itself. Newspaper 
headlines are short and to the point with nothing unnecessarily said. Except in terrific times, when one and two 
words carry great import, there are an average of from three to six words displayed. That the paper may be a few 
days old doesn't matter. The other paper, of a different name, must have a headline also, but it doesn't matter as 
to the exact number of words. 

Let us say, for example, that we wish to have "selected" the second word of one paper which reads "House Votes 
Strike Ban." The two papers are thrown down before the first spectator, and to him you say, "Just pick up either 
one, please." If he picks up the one you want you take it from him, saying, "Thank you," and walk to another 
person for the next move. If he picks up the wrong one, you say, "It's yours. And when you read it, later tonight, 
and find out what is happening throughout the world, remember that something strange happened here." 
Naturally, the "wrong" newspaper always is of current date. And, as you say your piece, pick up the other paper 
and carry it to the second person. 

"There is power in headlines," you continue. "Every word has a meaning of its own." With the shears you slash 
away at the four word banner, cutting the words apart and dropping them in crumpled balls onto the floor or 
table. Let them fall as they will, but be careful to note which one is the word you want to have "selected." 

"Pick up two of them, one with each hand," you say. If the wanted one is among these you continue without 
pause, "Give me one." If you receive the desired word you open the paper, read it aloud and hand to someone 
else nearby. If the wrong one is given you say, "Over my left shoulder as appeasement to the spirits beyond 
(tossing it so), and now will you please open the paper you have and read aloud the word it contains?" 

But, if the two papers picked up by the spectator do not include the wanted one, say, "Toss them over your 
shoulders at the same time, for that is a manner of appeasing the spirits beyond. Now give me one of the papers 
remaining." If given the correct one you open it and proceed. If given the wrong one, toss it over your own left 
shoulder, saying, "After all, I must do a bit of appeasing myself." Then have the spectator open and read the last 

Aside from the general explanation I want to insist that you have here one of the very best methods of "forcing" 
without the use of extraneous apparatus which only too often tends to distract attention from the effect by being 
"out of place." The method and principle takes practice and assurance, but it will last you throughout a lifetime 
of magic. 

That takes care of the word being the one which appears on the slate. Important no end, in itself, the "message 
from beyond" is essential, too, and the way it happens-goes like this: — 

Procure or make a silicate slate with frame, the inside (slate surface proper) dimensions of which are 5x7 inches 
or smaller — no larger. The flap to accompany this slate is made of thinner silicate, or, as in my case, of black art 
board, obtainable from art stores in 17 x 22 in. sheets, and very pliable. The inside of slate is quartered, and the 
finished flap takes up three of these, the diagrams making this clear, I hope. 


As you can see depicted, the flap is foldable twice which brings it down to quarter size, and that size is palmable, 
it being no larger than a playing card. Scotch tissue tape, now very prevalent, was used for the hinges. That one 
which is on the audience side of the slate was sanded with fine sandpaper to take away the gloss, but it isn't 
necessary because the slate is more or less perfunctorily shown. 

At the first showing, the performer draws a chalk line cutting off one-quarter of the slate's surface, and this is 
done on the flap side at start. The line is drawn along the edge of the flap, or edges of the flaps if you care to 
make them plural. The initials called are put upon the slate proper, there being a coinciding chalk line on the 
slate itself just under the flap (s) edge. The word to be forced has been written underneath the flap (s). 

The first "quartered-off" section is on the unprepared side, and it is duly initialed. When the second set of initials 
is given, they are put on the flap (s) side and that person asked to step forward. He is used for the first choice of 
the papers, and this slight interval allows you to let the top half of flap drop down and engineer the quarter-flap 
to the right, whereupon the folded flap can be palmed to the pocket when chalk is put away. 

That does it. The word is picked freely, and it appears upon a slate mysteriously. What more can be asked of a 



This is the simplest of slate effects in method, but a moment's thought followed by an actual tryout will convince 
you of its effectiveness. 

Effect: After you have done a card effect or two, state that you will prove beyond doubt that a card's identity can 
be transmitted by thought waves alone. Spread the deck face down on the table or floor. A spectator freely takes 
any card he wishes and allows no one to see it. He is told that if his selection be a picture or face card to return it 
and take another, as it is too difficult to transmit personalities, and so far you have only had definite success with 
the spot cards. 

Hand the spectator a slate and a piece of chalk and ask him to step to one comer of the room. You pick up 
another slate and step to an opposite corner. Ask him to draw, as well as he can, a picture outline of the card he 
selected and that you will try to get a thought wave of it and draw it too. He does as he is requested and you draw 
a picture at the same time. When you both turn your slates around it is seen that you have successfully 
accomplished your purpose by duplicating the very picture drawn by the subject. 

Requirements: Use a stacked deck. Si Stebbins, Nikola, or otherwise, plus two slates and chalk. 

Routine: Follow the above presentation to the point where you hand the subject the slate. He has already made 
his selection of a card, so you pick up the deck and lay it aside. However, you started picking up the deck from 
the spot where the selected card was removed, and then pick up the remaining cards and place these on top of the 
first group. As you lay the deck aside, glimpse the bottom card (the one that was originally above the selected 
card) and you know immediately what card was chosen! 

No one need tell me that this is simple. I know it, but I use it, too. The followup with the drawings will throw the 
audience right off the scent, and they will remember this number long after they have forgotten more intricate 



Undoubtedly, this is one of the neatest and most subtle of the flap slate methods for home seance work yet 
devised. I first saw it done by Bob Gysel several years ago, and its operation had me completely puzzled until 
the whole routine of action was revealed. 

Two slates and a flap are used, the flap being prepared at one end with a sharp spring steel hook. A flat piece of 
spring, about a quarter of an inch wide and one inch long is bent into a V shape. One prong is now filed to a 
sharp point. The V shaped piece is now put over the center of one end of the flap and the untouched prong is 
securely fastened to one side by glue and a small piece of black tape. The pointed prong sticks out over the other 
side as illustrated. 

Use a small table, such as a card table, and have on it a loose cloth cover. Write the message on one side of one 
slate and cover it with the flap, hook sticking outward as per illustration No. 1 Put the unprepared slate 
underneath and place the two slates to one side until ready to work. 

/ilap vatti 

Olo-p viih 

TKi* has 4he tn^^efc 

on iH u nd«r <tde. 



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l3«p.wiVh Kook. 


Pick up the two slates together as per illustration No. 2. Turn them over once so that both outside surfaces are 
shown to be clean. This leaves the flap on the underside and the hook is at the right. Separate them, holding the 
top slate at the left end with the left thumb on top and fingers underneath; and the bottom slate is held at the right 
end in the same manner with the right hand. The flap is held in place on the under side of the right hand slate. 

Both sides of both slates are shown by turning the hands. Now place the slates back together with the right hand 
slate going on top. The wooden edge is placed on the wooden edge of the left hand slate and, at this moment, the 
right fingers let up a bit with their pressure and the weight of the flap allows it to drop about an inch as per 
illustration No. 3. Then the right hand slate is slid along on top and the flap is thus transferred to the underside of 
the bottom slate. The situation is now as pictured in illustration No. 4. 

The left hand now slides off the top slate, on the underside of which is the message, and drops it on the table. 
The right hand grasps the remaining slate by the side nearest the body with the thumb on top and fingers 
underneath, keeping the flap in place. At this point, you apparently think of the table covering, and your left hand 
pushes the slate on the table to one side a bit, and pulls off the cloth by grasping it at the center of the side 
nearest you. As this is pulled up, the action covers the right hand and slate for a second, and you'll find the hook 
in a position to be caught in the cloth. The left hand continues taking the cloth away, and the sides of it will fall 
down to hang around and effectively hide the flap. Turn a bit to your right and toss or drop the cloth out of the 

Start to put the right hand slate on top of the other, but turn it around as you do so to show the other side. This is 
the move that will fool any wise person who may know about flaps. Drop it on top of the other slate and explain 
that with the slates on a solid surface, a spirit message should appear on the inner surface if at all. As you say 
this, lift off the top slate to show the inside and, in replacing it, slide it underneath the other slate. Pick up both 
slates together, tap the edges on the table, and then drop them down turned over. All is now ready for the finish. 

Mr. Gysel used this continually as the opening to a series of mediumistic effects to obtain the message, "Good 
evening, friends." Or one can go further by having the message signed by the "control" supposed to be guiding 
the seance. 

The whole operation takes but a minute, and is done easily and almost carelessly. The writer has seen Gysel do 
this without the cloth get-away for the flap, but it is not so easy unless one has established the appearance of 
being erratic in the way of moving around. Using small slates, the handling was exactly the same to the point 
where the top slate with the message underneath was tossed to the table. At this time, the other slate was held in 
the right hand which dropped to the side for a second where the flap was hooked onto the clothes a little behind 
the right hip. When the message was revealed, he turned a bit more towards the right, and the right hand merely 
grasped the flap by its sides, lifted it loose, and dropped it into the right side coat pocket when he reached in for a 
handkerchief to be used as a blindfold for his next test. The action, although bold, was done so easily that 
detection was almost impossible. 



This effect is one of the most popular slate tricks of recent years because it combines originality, action and a 
real surprise finish that makes it ideal as a club program item. 

Effect: The performer picks up a single slate and with a piece of chalk writes in large letters, "THE NAME OF 
THE CARD IS . . ." This message fills the slate, which is freely shown to the audience before being laid aside. 
Now the performer has a card selected, as he explains that the spirits will complete the sentence he has written 
on the slate by filling in the name of the chosen card. He picks up the slate to prove his statement only to find 
that nothing has happened, and that the slate still bears the message exactly as he had written it. 

The performer looks surprised, remarking that this is the first time the message hasn't been completed correctly 
by the spirits. Then, as an afterthought, he realizes that there isn’t enough room on the slate for more writing, so 
he decides to erase the message and rewrite it in smaller letters. As he erases his message a strange thing 
happens, for some of the letters refuse to be wiped off — and those letters remaining in view spell out the name of 
the selected card; TEN OF HEARTS ! The spectator holding the chosen card acknowledges this as being correct. 

This startling finish, turning an obvious failure into a complete victory for the performer, has tremendous 
audience appeal making it an effect worthy of any program. 

Preparation: All that you need for this surprising trick is one slate with flap and a deck of cards. 

First, write with chalk on the slate the words, "THE NAME OF THE CARD IS," as in the illustration. Then 
erase the various letters so the slate looks like the second one in the illustration. Erase enough of the letter "D" 

so it is changed to a "T". Now go over the letters, "TEN OF HEARTS" with white paint and set the slate aside to 
dry. When ready, chalk in the missing letters of the original sentence, being careful to convert the "T" back to a 
"D" again, so that the slate appears exactly like the first illustration. 

Cover this message with the flap and lay the slate on the table together with a deck of cards and a piece of chalk. 
On top of the deck have the Ten of Hearts ready to force. Also have a cloth handy for erasing the writing. 

Presentation: Pick up the slate and show both sides, being careful to hold the flap in place with your thumb or 
your fingers. Pick up the chalk and print the message on the flap exactly as in the first illustration. Then lay the 
slate on the table, writing side down, and pick up the deck of cards. Go into your patter theme while you force 
the Ten of Hearts. Use the method you can do best. (If you can't force a card naturally, better buy a copy of 
Annemann's "202 Methods of Forcing.") The person selecting the card puts it in his pocket. You now reach for 
the slate and pick it up, but leave the flap on the table. The message you now show is the prepared one, but to the 
audience it is the one you have just written! Look surprised for a moment, then disappointed, then brighten up 
and point out that it was your fault for not leaving enough space on the slate for the spirits to answer. Pick up the 
cloth and start erasing the message. All the chalked letters disappear, and the painted letters remain forming the 
name of the chosen card. 

Howard Brooks, the night club magician, does the trick without using a flap. He starts off 
with the prepared message already on the slate. Without showing this side of the slate to the 
audience, he pretends to write a message, then turns the slate around and shows what he has 
apparently written. He then hands the slate to someone to hold over his head until time for the finale. 


This method has several nice points that may appeal to some readers in that you can eliminate the force and get 
away with the flap at the same time. 

Follow this closely. The slate is prepared in the same manner as originally described. The Ten of Hearts from the 
deck is then placed face down upon the written message and the flap is then put on top of both. A second slate, 
unprepared, is on top of the prepared one, and a deck of cards and a piece of chalk is set on top of all. 

The cards are handed to someone for shuffling. The top slate is removed and placed under the arm. Next the 
sentence is openly chalked upon the flap of the second slate. The spectator who has mixed the deck is asked to 
stand, fan the cards face down before himself, draw any one he wishes and put it, without looking at it or 

showing it to anyone, face down upon the written message. The other slate is then dropped on top to cut off all 
light and give the happy spirit a chance to see the card and write its name for all to see. 

During this short interval the slates are turned over together, which lets the flap drop to the unprepared slate. 
Then the prepared slate, now on top, is lifted. The same sentence is seen, and face up on the other slate is seen 
the Ten of Hearts, apparently the card which was selected by the spectator. He is asked to take the card and show 
it around. The slate with flap (and the other card underneath it) is again put under the arm where it is held tightly 
in place by pressure of the elbow. The slate bearing the message is shown, talked about, and finally wiped off to 
reveal the correct name of the chosen card. 

Thus the stunt is done without forcing, and away from tables in the middle of the floor with people on all sides. 
A word of precaution is necessary, however. If you find that you cannot prevent the card from slipping out from 
under the flap when you have the slate under your arm, better lay the slate on the floor and play safe. 



Effect: A number of white pasteboard cards are shown to be all different and to contain a number on one side, 
all numbers varying in the hundreds and thousands. The cards are shuffled, and after cutting, a spectator removes 
five, holding them number side down. On a slate the performer now chalks, "THE TOTAL OF THE NUMBERS 
SELECTED WILL BE," explaining that a helpful spirit will write in chalk the total of the addition to be arrived 
at presently. Another slate is given to a spectator, who copies the numbers selected on the slate and then adds 
them up. While this is being done, the first slate is given to another person to hold. 

The copying and adding being finished, the spectator holds his slate for all to see and note the total. The second 
spectator shows his slate but no spirit writing is yet to be seen. The performer takes it back, saying some- thing 
must have detained the spirit control, and starts to erase the words. They are seen to change to numbers and, 
upon comparison with the first slate, every one of the numbers coincide exactly! And not only is the correct total 
revealed, but all figures of the addition check, so that both slates look alike! 

Preparation: The basic principle is the same as that used in "Before Your Eyes," page 168. This presentation is 
good either for a repeat show, or a place where playing cards are not suitable. The cards used are of white 
drawing board, playing card size. About 30 or 40 can be used. With bold strokes of black India ink letter the 
cards, numbering them from 100 to 1999. Make more of the "thousand" cards than the "hundreds," it being in 
keeping with the effect. 

The five cards responsible for the effect are forced. In order from the top down they read: 742, 1072, 1712, 1315 
and 1272. When added together they total 6113. The five cards are on top of the deck to start, and are kept there 
during the shuffle. 

The pack is shown with the numbers towards the audience. In squaring the cards, the top 6 or 7 are held by the 
left hand while the right turns the rest "face down" on them. Advance to a spectator with the pack in your left 
hand, and have him lift off some of the cards. As you ask if he cut at any point he wished, the misdirection 
allows you to turn over the packet in your hand and then the top five are taken. That's the force. 

For the slate preparation print the words as shown in the first illustration, covering the entire surface of the slate 
with the message. Make the downstrokes of all "E's" slightly curved — also the "L" of the word "total." The "S" 
in the word "numbers" is made to resemble a "5" and is unnoticed with the rest of the letters. The "W" in the last 
line is curved and looped so that the first part of it looks like a "6". 

Nun 61RS 

TH ¥ 
01 LL&E 

Letters and parts of letters are now erased to leave the figures as shown in the second illustration. These numbers 
are gone over with white paint. Before presenting, fill in the letters and parts of letters of the original message 
and cover all with a flap. 

This slate, together with an unprepared one, the deck of cards, chalk and a soft erasing cloth are on your table to 

Effect: After the card selection, pick up the flap slate and write the message on the flap, forming and spacing the 
letters as you know them to be underneath. You may have them on the flap in pencil. Put the slate on the table, 
flap side down, and hand the ordinary slate to a spectator. He turns the cards over one at a time and writes the 
numbers down and adds them. Thus they are put down in the correct order. Before he starts to add, mention that 
someone else should hold the message slate. Pick up the slate from the table, leaving the flap behind, and as the 
writing looks the same, all is well and you can be as open and free with this prepared slate as you like. Give it to 
the second spectator to hold, writing side down in his hands. 

The first man adds the figures on the unprepared slate and gets a total of 6113. Ask the second spectator if the 
total has appeared as yet on his slate. It hasn't! Take the prepared slate from him and start to erase it, holding it 
so everyone can see what you are doing. The figures appear in full view, and it is but the work of a moment to 
draw a line just above the total. Everything now checks! 



Note by Ted Annemann: Good methods for the appearance of messages on slates are many, but the routine 
explained here was shown to me by one of America's cleverest amateurs and I have been using it ever since. 

Presentation: The psychic shows four pieces of silicate of the flap type. With a handkerchief or dry cloth he 
casually wipes the upper surface of the top piece, turns it over, cleans the under side and puts the cleaned slate on 
the table. This is done with all four pieces of silicate in the most open and easy manner and then all four are 
spread in a row. The spectator is asked to indicate any two of them, and two are laid aside. The chosen two are 
picked up, put together and the spectator holds them. Upon sliding them apart, nothing is found. A few moments 
later they are separated again and still nothing is found. Finally, on the third attempt, a real chalk message is 
found completely covering the entire side of one slate, and all lour pieces may be left with the sitters. 

Routine: One simple move makes this whole routine possible as well as perfect. When the four pieces of silicate 
are held in the left hand, the message is on the upper side of the third flap from the top. Dot the top flap so you 
can always tell which is the top of the stack. Dr. Daley uses pieces of silicate five inches by seven inches as the 

most practical size. The left little finger holds a break between the third and bottom piece at the start. Hold them 
flatwise in your left hand. The top piece is cleaned and then turned over with the right finger and thumb at the 
lower right inner corner. When this side has been cleaned it is slid off and dropped on the table. The top surface 
of the next slate is now wiped off and the same maneuver is made but this time two pieces are turned over 
together as one! In short, you merely make a two-card turnover with silicate flaps! The newly presented surface 
is cleaned and this second piece, bearing a message on its under side, is slid off onto the table. The remaining 
two pieces are cleaned in the same manner as the others, and are laid on the table so that you have four pieces in 
a row, of which all have been cleaned and shown on each side in an unquestionably fair manner. The message 
slate is No. 2 in the row and performer keeps his eye on it. 

The spectator now indicates any two. No matter which ones he takes, he must or must not include the message 
slate in his selection. The performer either keeps the two indicated or uses the remaining two pieces depending 
upon which set contains the message slate. This message slate is dropped on top of the other and the two slates 
are held by the spectator. To look at them the first time, the top one is slid off with right hand but nothing has 
been written on the upper side of lower slate, so the piece slid off is replaced, but goes below the left hand piece 
this time. Again they are held (message is now on bottom of the lower slate) and this time the top piece is opened 
out like a book but still nothing has appeared. This top piece again is put underneath the other and, in handing 
them again to the spectator, the two are turned over. This time when slid apart, the message looks directly up at 

Once used, I think this method will be found highly effective and practical. I certainly like it and have found it to 
be one of the cleanest methods of which I know. 



Every once in a while a principle makes its appearance which may be used in many different ways. The 
following effect combines Dr. Daley's silicate flap routine with the torn billet and stolen center idea to create one 
of the most impressive mental tests in years. It makes the magician's dream a reality in that it provides an 
impromptu method of producing a spirit answer that is a direct reply to any question written by a spectator! 

Effect: The performer has someone write a question on a small two inch by three inch piece of paper which is 
then torn up and burned in a convenient ashtray. While the paper pieces are burning, the performer introduces 
lour silicate flaps, about four inches by five inches, which he shows to be blank. To convince everyone that they 
do not already bear any messages, he cleans each one individually with his handkerchief and lays them, one at a 
time, on the table. Two of them are selected. Using these as a writing tablet, the performer proceeds to "get an 
impression" of the question and writes it on the flap. His first and second attempts are failures, but he cleans the 
two flaps once more with his handkerchief, places them together, and asks the spectator to put them in his pocket 
temporarily. When they are removed a few minutes later, they are found to contain a direct answer to the 
question asked. 

Preparation: The few props necessary for this effect may be carried with you at all times. Have the four silicate 
flaps in your right coat pocket, together with a few slips of papers. The chalk and the box of matches are in your 
left coat pocket. Also have a pencil or pen handy. 

Routine: As already mentioned, this is a combination of two routines. The torn and stolen 
center stunt will be found on page 30 in Annemann's "Mindreading Publicity Effect." Follow the 
procedure outlined there, but use one of your plain white paper slips, with a penciled oval drawn in its center, 
instead of the newspaper square described in the Annemann trick. After tearing the slip into small pieces and 
stealing the center section bearing the question, deposit it in your left coat pocket as you reach for the box of 
matches. At the same time, drop the torn pieces into a nearby ashtray with your right hand. Hand the box of 
matches to the spectator and ask him to burn the paper pieces which you have crumpled up in the ashtray. 

Now reach into your right coat pocket and remove the four silicate flaps. The third flap from the top already 
Dears this message: "It will occur sometime next year," and the flaps should be held so that this message faces 
up. Work Dr. Daley's "Ultra Slate Message" routine with the flaps up to the point where the two flaps are 
selected from among four. One of the two selected ones must bear the written message. Put these two flaps 

together so that the message is on the inside, and then turn them over to bring the message face up between the 

Hold the two flaps in your right hand, while you talk to the spectator asking him to think of his question. Reach 
into your left coat pocket with your left hand for the chalk, and secure the stolen paper at the same time. Finger- 
palm the stolen center piece as you bring out the chalk. Bring your left hand up behind the flaps being held in 
your right hand, and transfer the flaps from your right hand to your left, as your right hand takes the chalk. Clip 
the stolen center against the rear of the flaps with your left thumb. The stolen center is folded but twice and is 
easily opened behind the flap with the aid of the right fingers. The flaps, of course, are held so that the paper is 
not visible to your audience. Now you apparently get an impression and begin to write on the surface of the flap 
facing you. Actually you have read the question written on the torn out center of the paper, and you deliberately 
write a direct answer to it on the flap. When finished, place both flaps under your left arm, drop the piece of 
chalk into your right coat pocket together with the torn center piece, as you repeat aloud the text of your dummy 
answer. This dummy answer is on the flap nearest your left arm, so as you finish quoting it, grasp this flap with 
your right hand and show the dummy message to the spectator. (The flap bearing the correct answer is still under 
your arm.) Ask the spectator if the answer means anything to him. 

The spectator says that the message does not mean a thing. As you discuss it with him, you transfer the flap to 
your left hand, reach up with your right hand and obtain the flap still under your left arm, and add it to the 
bottom of the flap in your left hand. Do not let the spectator catch a glimpse of the writing of this second flap. 
Now carelessly tilt the flaps again so that the dummy message is again visible, reach for your pocket 
handkerchief and clean off the dummy message. Replace your handkerchief and obtain the chalk again from 
your right coat pocket. 

Make a second attempt to "get an impression," but this time tilt the flaps so that the spectator sees you scribbling 
a few disjointed words. These mean nothing either, so you remark that perhaps it would be better to let the 
message come through by itself. 

Clean off the last words you wrote and hand the two flaps, still together, to the spectator and ask him to put them 
in his pocket. Ask him to repeat aloud the question he wrote for everyone to hear. Then suggest that he take the 
flaps out and look at them. He finds a direct answer written on one of the flaps which he may show to everyone 
as both flaps will, of course, bear minute examination. 

Seriously worked, this makes a fine impression because of the direct answer angle, a feature which heretofore 
has depended upon assistants or plants. The under arm subtlety is one of Dr. Daley's recent improvements in the 
handling of the flaps, and the final touch in the perfection of this masterpiece. We are indebted to the Doctor for 
his permission to include this clever method of switching the flaps in this book. 



This effect may be termed a "double-header" for both a rope restoration and a slate writing mystery are 
accomplished in combination. 

Effect: The performer talks of his discovery of a long hidden secret for restoring broken articles to their original 
condition. He offers to illustrate with a rope. It is looped between the hands and a spectator cuts the loop at the 
center. The cut ends are tied, passes are made, and the performer sounds off with invocations. The knot is untied 
and the rope is found in two pieces! 

Only a little discouraged, the performer tosses these into the audience and takes another rope. It, too, is cut and 
the ends tied together. However, the performer admits that he is not too sure of the correct procedure and might 
rather ask for aid than fail again. He picks up two slates, showing them on both sides to be blank, and writes on 
one "Dear Houdini: Please help me out with my 'Neverfaif rope trick. (Signed) Dr. Jacob Daley." 

The cut rope is hung over this slate with the knot resting on the upper, written surface. The other slate is placed 
on top. The hanging ends of the rope are crossed underneath the slate, brought up and tied tightly over the top by 
a spectator. 

After a short interval with soft music the slates are untied. Between the slates now lies a loose knot and the rope 
is seen to be restored. The original slate still bears the Houdini message, but on the other slate is written: "Dear 
Jack: I had to do it the hard way. You can have the knot. (Signed) Houdini." Everything may now be handed out 
for examination. 

Requisites: Needed are two slates with the usual single flap, two lengths of soft rope, scissors and chalk. The 
only preparation required is to write the answer on one of the slates and cover it with the flap. Lay this slate on 
top of the other one with the flap side up, and set to one side on your table. 

The general effect being everything, the actual method of doing the rope trick can be left to 
the individual performer. Any version making use of the small extra or cut off piece, which is 
openly tied around the rope proper, is all right. I prefer the standard turban trick moves which 
allow you to do the trick without preparation. This effect has been explained time and time 
again, but there is one new twist to it which makes this effect possible. In all versions, the short piece is tied 
around the center of the long piece, either to be trimmed entirely away, as in the turban trick, or slid off while 
coiling the rope around the hand. However, when performing this trick, the performer ties the small piece, not 
around the rope by itself, but around the bight of the rope. The illustration will make it clear, and it has been 
exaggerated to avoid misunderstanding. When completed, a tight and well tied knot appears to be in the center of 
the long length of rope. However, a pull on both ends of the long rope will cause the knot to snap free of the 

Routine: In order to facilitate the mastering of the subtleties employed, it would be well for the reader to follow 
the instructions with the articles mentioned at hand. 

In the first example, when the rope fails to be restored, the performer uses exactly the same moves he later uses 
in the second attempt at restoring the rope. However, the necessary turban method move is left out which results 
in the first rope being actually cut. On the second try, the fake cut provides the short piece and the knot is made 
as described. The rope is now put around your neck while the slates are brought into play. 

Both slates are shown blank. The "Answer" slate is laid on the table, flap side down, while the message to 
Houdini is being written across one side of the other slate. Holding the writing side of the slate upwards, the rope 
is now hung across it, from side to side, with the ends hanging down. The knot lays on the top (written) surface. 
The other slate is picked up from the table, leaving the flap behind, and this slate is laid over the knot, being 
careful, of course, to hold the "Answer" slate so that no one gets a flash of the writing it contains. Thus the knot 
is sandwiched in between the two slates. 

You are now holding the slates at one end with the left hand in front of your body. The rope ends hang down, 
one on the side nearest you and the other on the side towards the audience. The right hand takes the end nearest 
the body and brings it around under the slates and then up over the audience side, across the top, and lets it hang 
down over the body side again. Then take the end of the rope hanging down on the audience side, bring it 
underneath towards your body, up and over the slates and let it hang down again on the audience side. But — just 
as the hand grasps this end, it gives the rope a tug which snaps the knot loose from the rope between the slates! 

The right hand now grasps the two hanging ends beneath the slates, the left hand turns the two slates over, which 
action brings the two ends to the top with the slates hanging underneath, and anyone is asked to tie these ends 
tightly together. Then that person is allowed to hold the slates. 

The trick is finished at this point except for the denouement. 



Here is Dr. Daley's subtle and convincing method of forecasting the total of an unknown column of figures. 
There are no loopholes in the routine, and it is as fair as genuine mindreading would be. 

Effect: Four people are asked to stand and to think of a three-figured number. The performer looks at each in 
turn and writes something on a slate he is holding. He then draws a line, is seen to be adding the column of 
figures and writing the total, and finally he erases the top half of the slate. Laying the slate down without 
showing it, he announces that he has read the mind of each of the subjects, added the numbers, and now has the 
correct total written on the slate. 

First, though, he suggests a checkup. He approaches the four subjects in turn asking them to jot down their 
thought-of numbers on a blank card, one number under the other. The problem is then given to a fifth person to 
add. This person calls the total aloud! Then, as an afterthought, the performer has the original subjects recheck 
their figures and also call aloud the final total. In short, the total is actually called out five times, during which 
period the original written numbers are rechecked ! 

Returning to the front, the performer says, "When I looked at each of you, I read your thoughts, wrote them 
down, added them up, and now, in absolute proof of the assertion I made originally. I'll show you that my total is 
exactly the same ! " And he does ! 

Routine: Impossible as this may sound, the convincing details arc accomplished by a clever subtlety. 

Snap a rubber band around the end of a packet of five or six blank cards. On the bottom card write your fake 
addition problem, simulating a different handwriting for each row. Draw a line but do not put down the total. 
Instead, write the total in lead pencil on the frame of your slate. To perform, you need only this packet of cards, a 
slate, a pencil and a thumb writer gimmick clipped to your thumb nail. (Haden's Swami Holdout is ideal for this 
effect, and may be purchased from your favorite magic dealer.) 

Follow the effect as given. When the slate has been placed on the table after writing, adding and erasing 
everything but the total, which is that of your fake addition noted on the frame of the slate, you take the packet of 
cards from your pocket. Approach the volunteers who are or should be standing. Give each one in turn the pencil 
and ask him to write his thought-of number on the top blank card of the packet, which you hold while he writes. 
When the fourth person has finished writing his number in the column, drop your hand to your side and turn over 
the packet of cards as you approach a fifth person. This person is presented with the previously written faked 
column, the original bottom card of the packet, and asked to total it. He does so while you hold the cards, and 
then calls the total aloud. 

At this time you step to the front, reversing the packet of cards again, and remark that each person has written his 
own number, another has added the column, and the total obtained is As you give this 

slight resume, you glance at the packet and apparently read off the total. Actually, however, you write with your 
thumb writer the total of your fake addition under the spectator's original figures. You will have ample time for 
this as you will find out on your first trial. 

Now, as an afterthought, go back to the spectators and have each of them check off his own 
row, and each one calls the total, as well. They have no time to add. and, after all, they are mainly 
interested in their own individual row of figures. The climax is then up to you. Give it a big buildup. It deserves 

Dr. Daley's Variation with Mechanical Slate: The general effect is almost identical with the foregoing, and 
your actions throughout are actually what a real thought reader would do. 

Four people each think of a three-digit number and the performer looks at each in turn and writes something on 
his slate, without letting anyone see it. He now draws a line, totals up his addition problem and is seen to be 
filling in the answer. He now rubs out the various "thought figures" he has collected, turns the slate around to 
show the total he has gotten and sets the slate up against a supporting book, etc., so that his total will be in 
evidence throughout the effect. He now takes another slate around to each of the assistants and has them write 
their mentally thought-of figures in a row, one under the other. Immediately, he hands the slate to a fifth person 
who totals the sum. This person stands and announces the total which is seen to correspond with what the 
mentalist has showing on his slate. 

Like the first effect, you write any figures in the column you run up on your unprepared slate, but when you 
come to the total you fill in the actual total you are going to force with the other slate. This total may be noted in 
pencil on the frame of the slate, so that you will not forget it. 

The mechanical slate may be either Baker's or Thayer's Addition Slate, or Dobrin's Double Locking Flap Slate. 
Lay the half flap over to one side, draw five horizontal lines across the entire slate surface and fill in the upper 
lour spaces with numbers of three digits each, one under the other. Leave the "total space" empty. The numbers 
you insert, should vary in the writing but should, of course, add up to the total you are going to force. Now lay 
the half flap back to the opposite side and lock it. This will hide your figures and leave the slate apparently 
unmarked. Draw five horizontal lines across the face of the slate with chalk. The working is, of course, obvious. 
The four assistants write their own numbers on the mechanical slate and. as you hand it to a fifth person to add, 
you flip the flap over their writing which brings your previously prepared problem into view. As the flap locks, 
you can hand the slate to this fifth person to add and naturally he gets the same answer that is written on your 
unprepared slate. 



The following is our old friend, the slate trick, all dressed up in new finery and should appeal to those who are 
looking for something off the beaten path. 

Effect: The performer shows four pieces of silicate to be clean on all sides, and two of them are selected by a 
member of the audience and placed by him in his own pocket, banded together. 

Ten cards, each bearing a single figure, and ranging from one to zero, are freely shown, all of them then being 
mixed by someone. Placing them in his pocket, the performer has four people remove one card each in turn; the 
selected cards indicating a four-figured number. Let us say that the number selected is 2750. The performer 
recounts a bit, recalling that two pieces of blank board are being held by the audience, and that a four-figured 
number has been freely chosen by chance. He throws out the remaining six cards and asks that the boards be 

Almost everyone will expect to find the number written on one of the pieces of silicate. But, no! Written in large 
chalk letters of ancient script is found "NUMBERS IV — 36." This is an occasion for conjecture as to what has 
happened, but suddenly (if no one else has beaten you to it) a bible is mentioned, and the gracious host or hostess 
provides one. The fourth chapter of the Book of Numbers, verse 36, reads, "And those that were numbered of 
them by their families were two thousand seven hundred and fifty." And that's the selected number! Everything 
can now be examined. 

Preparation: You will need four silicate slate flaps about 5 inches by seven inches in size. Write "NUMBERS 
IV — 36" on one flap and place it, message up, third from the top of the stack. 

The cards are regular numbered cards, and you will need two sets bearing the numbers from zero to nine. If you 
do not have a set of these cards, you can easily letter the few that you need. Take the numbers 2-7-5-0 from one 
of the sets and put them in your inside coat pocket in correct order from back to face, and with the faces towards 

your body. Put the remaining six cards of this set in your upper right vest pocket with the faces towards your 
body. Lay the other set of ten cards on your table with the silicate flaps and you're ready. 

Routine: For the cleaning of the flaps and the showing of them to be free of writing, use Dr. Daley's routine 
already explained in his "Ultra Slate Message," page 172. At the end of this routine, you have forced two of the 
flaps, one of which bears your written message. Place these face to face, snap a rubber band around them and 
give them to someone to place in his pocket. 

Next pick up the set of ten cards from the table, shuffle them and show them for what they are. Pass them out if 
you like and finally take them back in your left hand and put them in the inside coat pocket, on the body side of 
those already there. Holding the coat open with your right hand, pass to four people in turn and have each reach 
into your pocket and pull out a card. Work this part without hesitation or stalling, and the force cards will be 
taken out in the correct order. Have the number on each card announced as it is withdrawn. 

This four-figured number is then repeated a time or two, and while doing so you apparently reach into your 
pocket and take out the remaining cards. However, you really take out the six cards from your vest pocket 
instead, and toss them on the table. Thus everything will check for the skeptics later. 

The climax is now in order. Most people think of the Bible immediately. The effect builds from the point where 
they expect to see the numbers on the boards and are surprised when they find something else. The trick is really 
an ideal pocket item and, merely as a suggestion to those with inventive minds, the Book of Numbers has many 
verses with all kinds of combinations. 



(Editor's Note: The following effect is Bart unusual. The brilliant originality In the handling of the flap 

In connection with two boards is far and away superior to the usual slate method, and when properly presented 
will baffle anyone familiar with slates. We urge you to give it* trial, tor it is really very easy once the principle is 

Effect: The performer shows two blackboards which measure about 6x9 inches. One board is encircled with two 
rubber bands, under which the performer inserts a blank piece of white paper. The second board is now placed 
on top of the paper, and both boards are encircled with two more rubber bands. The slates are now stood against 
the back of a chair, resting on the seat. 

Now a name, number, or object is chosen by the audience. The large bands arc removed and the boards are 
separated. Still attached to one board, by the clastic bands, is the piece of paper. That paper now bears cither a 
picture of he who was named, an inscription of the number mentioned, or a sketch of the object chosen. 



during REMOVAL OF 

narrow bands are 


Method: It all happens between the boards. The apparatus, if it can be called such, is very 
simply constructed. The sketches and description to follow will make clear the entire 
operation. It is a sort of tricky difference between "little" and "big" rubber bands. The small 
ones hold the paper onto the boards whereas the large ones hold the boards themselves together. Between 
the two, much happens. 

Used are two blackboards, one tin flap to match, four thin elastic bands, two broad elastic bands and two pieces 
of white paper about 5 inches x 7 inches. On one of the papers write your prediction, name, number or object. 

Following is an outline of the principle employed, and if you will follow the moves with three silicate flaps in 
hand and the necessary elastic bands, the idea will clarify itself very readily. The theory behind the 
manipulations is simply this: The small clastic bands are utilized to transfer the flap and the papers from one 
board to the other, under the perfectly natural actions of removing the large bands. 

One board (a) is encircled by two small (thin) elastic bands, about six inches apart. Your prepared message is 
now laid on this board, and across the elastic bands, written side to the board. On top of this paper is laid the tin 

flap. This is now secured to the board by two more thin clastic bands, also placed six inches apart so that they 
overlay and coincide with the first two bands encircling the board. Thus the prepared message paper is 
sandwiched between the board and the flap, and they may be turned around and shown on both sides, appearing 
as a single board with but two elastic bands encircling it about an inch and a half from each end. 

The unprepared slip is shown on both sides to be blank, and is secured to board (a) by slipping it under the 
elastic bands on the flap side. The second board (b) is now laid on top of the paper slip, and the two boards are 
secured together by encircling them with two broad elastic bands, which overlap and cover the elastic bands 
around board (a). 

Our problem now is to transfer the flap and both papers from board (a) to board (b), and that is done as follows: 
Turn the boards over so that board (a) is on top. Hold the boards with your left hand, with the narrow end facing 
the audience and tilted slightly downwards. Slip your right finger tips under all the clastic bands at the far end of 
the board, lift the elastic bands up and, still holding them clipped by the first joints of the fingers, bring your 
hand towards the left edge of the boards, then down and around under towards the right edge. As your hand 
passes the front end of the boards, the thin elastic bands are allowed to slip off the finger tips and immediately 
are transferred to the lower board. The right hand continues down and away, bringing with it the large elastic 
band which is now free of the boards. To the audience, of course, this appears as though you just removed the 
large band from the boards, which is exactly what you want them to think. They know nothing of the thin bands 
which you transferred under cover of the removal of the large band. 

Turn the boards around, end for end, and repeat the same movements with the other elastic bands, taking away 
the large band. Now remove the top board (a), and things look exactly as they did at first, with the slip secured to 
the lower board (b) by two elastics. But, the slip now bears your spirit message which can be seen by everyone, 
because the slip they are looking at is your prepared one, while the blank one is now sandwiched between the 
flap and the board, and, of course, cannot be seen. 

The Force: The request for names, which can be revealed by letters or depicted by sketches, is tricked by the 
performer writing down names, not as called, but all alike. An excellent alternative is to write names as called, 
using 2 inch x 3 inch slips of paper. Let a member of the audience watch the proceedings and jot down each 
name. As each is written, crumple it up and drop it onto a hat, but do not let him see you tuck the first one, the 
force paper, under the hatband. This one later is retrieved after the hat has been shaken up a bit. All the other 
papers were honestly written. You pick out two papers, one at a time, and toss them away, then come out with 
your force paper from under the hatband. Thus you have complete control of your force paper throughout and 
everything seems perfectly fair. 



Many methods of transmitting information are available, but for simplicity of effect and directness of procedure, 
this slate routine will be found hard to beat. 

Effect: The assisting spectator thinks of any card, removes it from the deck, and holds it up for all to see. The 
medium, notwithstanding the fact that she is seated with her back to the audience, takes the slate and chalk and 
immediately inscribes on the slate the name of the chosen card. The performer now hands another slate to the 
spectator and asks him to draw, in view of all, any simple geometric design that occurs to him. It is no sooner 
completed than the medium cries, "I have an impression!" and immediately reproduces on the slate the very 
same drawing, although obviously she could not see what the spectator had drawn! 

Requirements: This short mental routine for two people is as simple as it is effective. In both cases, the 
information is relayed to the medium via a thumb tip writer worn by the performer, but the ruse employed is 
slightly different in each case. 

These thumb writers are on sale at all magical dealers and are of two general types. One is a short thumb tip with 
lead attached to the ball of the thumb. The other is a small clip which attaches to the thumb nail itself. Only a 
few trials are necessary to ascertain which is the most practical for each individual. Besides a thumb tip, two 

slates are required, as well as a pack of cards and a fairly long piece of chalk. On one side the chalk has been 
shaved a bit so as to make a nice flat surface on which a few pencilled notations may be made. 

Presentation: In introducing this effect, the performer holds a slate and a piece of chalk and outlines briefly the 
details of the test and just what the medium, who may be blindfolded, will attempt to do. He requests the full 
cooperation of everyone in the audience; and suggests that if they will but concentrate at the proper time the tests 
should be a success. From this point on not another word is spoken by the performer until the first test is 

The performer seats the medium in a chair next to a table with her back to the audience. He lays the slate on the 
table, picks up a deck of cards and hands it to someone to make a selection. The performer stands facing the 
audience during the removal of the card with his right hand dropped to his side. On his right thumb he has his 
thumb writer, and this hand also has retained the piece of chalk. 

It is but the work of a second to slip the chalk into position between the fingers and to thumb write the initials of 
the selected card on the flat surface of the chalk. The moment the performer writes down the initials of the card, 
he picks up the slate from the table and hands it, along with the chalk, to the medium. She quickly works up to 
her first climax by writing on the slate the name of the card she finds noted on the chalk, and then holds the slate 
above her head for all to see what she has written. 

The performer again takes the slate and. while quickly erasing it, asks a spectator if he would like to assist in 
another test but a much more difficult one. He will, of course, agree, so the performer hands him another slate 
with the suggestion that he draw some simple design or geometrical figure; and then show it to the rest of the 
audience so that all may concentrate upon the figure. The performer still holds the medium's slate, and is again 
wearing the thumb writer. His arm hangs naturally at his side. Once the performer catches sight of the figure 
being drawn he reproduces it on the edge of the slate, via the thumb nail writer, as well as he is able under the 
circumstances. Since these figures are seldom more than a triangle, circle or parallelogram, the medium should 
be able to make it out. 

During this time she has been listening to the spectator writing on his slate, and as soon as the sound of the 
scratching chalk ceases, she cries, "I have an impression." The performer immediately hands her the slate he is 
holding. With appropriate pauses and flashes of inspiration, the medium quickly reproduces the drawing and 
stands up, slate in hand, to reveal it and take her bow. 



The effect of this startling variation in Living and Dead Tests first appeared in Annemann’s publication "Sh-h-h! ! 
It’s a secret." 

On an unprepared slate the performer writes a row of six figures from 1 to 6 in a column down the left side. The 
slate is handed to a spectator to write the name of some dead person, known only to himself, after any one of the 
six figures. This is done while the performer's back is turned. 

The slate is handed to another person who writes the name of a living person after any of the remaining figures. 
This is repeated until six names are written on the slate, one of which is a dead person's name among five 
"living" names. 

The performer is given the slate and, concentrating upon it, he asks the spectator who wrote 
the "dead name" to think of the person as he last saw him. The performer starts rubbing the 
slate with a cloth. Then he asks the spectator to speak the name aloud. Turning the slate over, 
the audience is shown that all the living names have been erased and only the dead name is left untouched! 

This is truly a nice effect and is accomplished by the simplest of methods. It is only necessary for the performer 
to know which name has been written first. After the first person has written the dead name, the performer 
approaches him and takes the slate by the top with his left hand. Calling attention to the fact that he does not 
make any attempt to sec what has been written, the performer transfers the slate to his right hand, taking it with 
the thumb behind and the second finger on audience side, the finger being near the top edge on the right side. 
The finger is far enough in on the slate so that it rubs across the name as the right hand slides downward to grasp 
the slate firmly near the bottom. This action is perfectly natural and the finger merely slips over the slate surface 
without any pressure. Thus, the dead name, wherever it may be, is crossed and a resultant blur of its chalk is 
made with a very slight streak visible below. 

This is done as the slate is handed to another person within two or three seats of the first. After this name (living) 
the performer handles the slate again, but from then on merely directs each spectator to pass the slate to someone 
near him. 

It is only necessary now for the performer to take the slate and erase all names except the streaked one. 

This effect is one of perfect mental misdirection for the onlookers always seem to believe that it is necessary for 
the performer to know the name, they do not realize that it is only necessary for him to know where the name is. 
There is no conceivable way in which he can know what the name is, so they are completely thrown off the right 

A Variation: Mr. Parrish has worked out a completely novel effect using this principle, basing his patter on the 
identification of individuals through their handwriting. Have a column of three figures on the slate. Three 

different people each write a word before one of the numbers. The performer now looks at the slate and tells 
which person wrote each word, though his back was turned during the writing. 

Proceed with the first person just as described in the first effect. Ditto with the second person, only your finger is 
extended a bit more than before. No trickery is employed with the last writer. Now by looking at the slate, the 
performer will find two slight chalk traces below the word written by person No. 1, and only one streak under 
the word written by person No. 2. 



Do not pass up this effect because of the layout of the tables. The effect is stunning and is truly a miracle from 
the audience's viewpoint. 

Effect: The visible apparatus consists of three dice, an apparently meaningless list of letters, two slates and a 
piece of chalk. 

The list first used is that shown in Figure 1. You write something on one slate and place it to one side. No one 
sees what you have written. 

An interested spectator rolls the dice until satisfied that they are fair. Then comes the important throw of the 
cubes. The total is noted. Let us say that it is ten. The spectator locates the pair of letters tenth from the top of the 
column and proceeds to write them on the second slate. The letters will be found to be NK. 

The performer hands the spectator a second list which, when placed beside the first, reveals a completed list of 
eighteen words. They read as per the list shown in figure No. 2. 

The word at the tenth position is PLANK, the last two letters of which the volunteer has just written on his slate. 
Your slate now is turned so that its writing side faces the audience as it is placed beside the spectator's slate. The 
word is completed. The performer's slate bears PLA, the first three letters. 





































ft 1 *2 

Preparation: With three dice, the smallest number that can be thrown is 3 and the largest will be 18. If an odd 
number is tossed, you have volunteer count off that many rows of letters and note what comes up next. When an 
even number is thrown he is directed to count to that number and note the letters at that number. In either case, 
only letters at an even-numbered position may be selected. 

As two cannot be thrown this narrows the possible selections to 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, or 18. 

You also have eight separate lists for the groups of three letters, as illustrated. The numbers shown over the lists 
are for your personal use and knowledge, and, of course, do not appear on the lists proper. 

In my own case I carry each list in a separate envelope with the numbers lightly penciled on the inside of the 

In preparing for the trick, arrange the envelopes in your pocket in a known order. Four, six and eight are in your 
left coat pocket; ten and twelve are in your inside coat pocket; and fourteen, sixteen and eighteen arc in your 
right coat pocket. 

Routine: Introduce the list (Figure 1) of two-letter combinations, the dice and the slates. Secretly print PLA on 
one slate and place aside as volunteer tests the dice. The dice now are rolled and the total taken. In most cases 
you can total the dice quickly and remove the proper list from your pocket before the volunteer has announced 
the result. 

Suppose the total to be eleven. You have removed the envelope, secretly marked twelve, from 
your inside coat pocket and are holding it. Tell him to count down eleven two-letter combinations, 
note the next and write it on his slate. It will be YS. 

On handing him your list to place beside his, he finds that the word at that position is PLAYS. Holding the two 
slates together, with the writing on both showing, the word PLAYS is revealed. 

Although the word was selected so fairly, to all appearances you must have known what word 
it would be. As a matter of fact, you don't as no particular word is forced. Reasoning further, 
the list is not exchanged for half of it is already in the volunteer's hands. The prediction is not 
switched for your written-on slate is never again touched by you. The prediction is direct with no double 



Here is one of those rare effects that has an anticlimax but becomes greater because of it. The basis of the trick, 
the addition part, is not new but Mr. Baker has woven around it a bit of chicanery which dresses up the problem 
in a not easily forgotten guise. 

Effect: A spectator is chosen for the problem, and is handed a folded paper upon which the performer has 
scribbled something. Showing a large size slate, the performer hands him chalk with the request that he write 
down a line of figures as they come to mind. Immediately under this row the performer jots a row and the 
spectator follows with a third. Then the performer finishes quickly by writing a fourth and fifth line. Drawing a 
line underneath, the spectator is handed slate for adding. The total is read aloud and shown. Opening the folded 
paper, the spectator finds prophecied the correct total! So far nothing original has happened, but wait! The 
performer shows the back of the slate on which has been inscribed the letters of the alphabet, each letter 
followed by a numeral from 1 to 0, see illustration. The spectator is asked his first or last name. Substituting 
letters for the figures of the problem's total, this spectator's name is found to be revealed by that row of figures! 

It will be realized immediately by many that this also makes a valuable effect as a publicity trick with a pad of 
paper. Although it will puzzle a mathematician, and it will confound magicians who know only the addition 
effect, the mechanics are so simple that it practically becomes an impromptu stunt. 

Preparation: First you must know the name of the person with whom you are going to work the effect. It may 
be either his first or last name, so long as it isn't more than six letters long, in which case another name is 
secured. On the back of the slate or pad have the alphabet and numerals written as per the chart. 

Before the test, write down the name of the person, and with the chart, substitute the letters for figures. If the 
name were Harry, the letters would equal 81885. This is all you need know before starting. On a piece of paper 
write the five figures and place a 2 in front of them, making a number prophecy of 281885 for the spectator to 
hold. Now add 2 to the last figure of the number representing the name of the person, in this case changing the 
number to 81887. This number is your key number to be remembered. If the last figure of the original name 
number is an 8 or 9, this rule holds good although adding the 2 affects the last two figures of the number instead 
of only the last one. If the number were 71288 it would change to 71290 by adding the 2. 

Routine: Present the problem by handing the correct person the folded slip and ask him to place it in his pocket 
or otherwise hide it. Without showing the chart side of the slate or pad, ask him to write a row of five figures. 
Have him put down the same number of figures in the row as there are letters in his name, although you don't tell 
him this. Thus, in this case, you have him write a row of five figures. If the name were John he would be told to 
write four. You quickly put down the second row under his, and write the key number you have memorized. He 
writes the third row and you write the last two. The rule that governs the writing of the last two rows is the 
"nine" rule relating to the top and the third lines. Thus, in writing the fourth line, you watch the first line and put 
down figures which, added to the figures directly above each one, total nine. If the top row is 63052, the fourth 
line will be 36947. The fifth row is written while watching the third row and the same rule applies. Then the line 
is drawn and the spectator adds the problem. 

The resulting sum will be exactly what you have prophecied on the folded slip he has pocketed. That's the first 
climax. Now explain that you will go further and that there is an unknown force or power at work when the 
spectator jots down his numbers at random. Ask him for his first or last name, as the case may be. Then turn over 
the slate or pad. On it is the list of letters and figures as listed here. You may remark that you have numbered the 
letters over and over somewhat as is done by numerologists. Don't say "as done exactly by them" because 
numerologists leave out the zero in their computations. There will be, in each case, one more figure in the total 
than there are letters in the name. Say, therefore, that you will use only the correct number of figures as they 
were written down in the total. Counting from right to left you cross out the first figure. He names the first letter, 
H. The figure after the letter H is 8, so you write H under the 8 in the total. He names the second letter, A. The 
figure after A is 1, so A is written under the second figure in total. This continues until finished and the name of 
the spectator assisting is seen to coincide exactly with the total of the problem he helped assemble! 

The presentation of this effective idea may be varied by using two slates. One contains the chart, while the other 
is used for the problem. Start by having the spectator who assists put the chart slate (without it being shown) 
under his chair, or in a safe place. Now you write something on one side of the slate and announce that it is a 
prophecy. Don't show it but continue by having the problem written on the other side. When the total is read 
aloud, turn the slate over to show your prognostication correct. Now have the spectator take his slate and show 
the chart. Ask him the first letter of his name. He says H. Ask him what figure is after the letter on the slate. He 
say 8. Then you openly write H under the first 8 on your slate. Continue to this manner, which is very effective, 
as the audience doesn't realize you know the name beforehand and it is fascinating to watch the name build up 
under the total. 

Although, at the start, this stunt may appear a bit complicated, I doubt if anyone will have 
trouble understanding and making it work if he will just try it out on a piece of paper to get 
the idea clearly in mind. Many who know the nine principles of the addition are still thrown 
off, because even that part is not done in the same order as the old trick. The smart ones generally look for 
adjoining lines to total nine, disregarding separated lines. 

There are but two operations before presenting it; changing the name to figures, followed by memorizing the key 
number. Try to use last names whenever possible. 



For many years dealer's catalogues have listed the "Spirit Slates" where two slates and one flap make a spirit 
message possible. A moot question is, "why does a message appear only on one side?" In this version, after the 
two slates have been shown and numbered openly on four sides, they are opened to show a genuine chalk 
message on the inside of each slate, and they may be left with the audience for thorough examination. It would 
be best to follow these directions with a pair of slates and a flap in hand. 

Put a message on one side of one slate and in the upper left comer of the slate write the figure 1 . Cover this with 
the flap. On one side of the second slate write another message, or continue the first message. Mark this side 
with the figure 4. Lay this slate, with the message side down, on the first slate with the flap and keep all numbers 
to the front end towards the audience. 

Pick up the slates, and holding them together and tipped forward a little, so that the top surface can be seen, the 
first or top slate is slid off and put under the second slate. State that you will number each side, and chalk in the 
figure 1 on the upper left comer of the top slate (flap). With the same move as before, slide this slate off and put 
it underneath. Mark the new surface with the figure 2. Now turn the two slates completely over (never end for 
end — numbers always stay at the front end) and mark the new surface with the figure 3. Lift this slate off and put 
it underneath (the flap has dropped off onto the top of the bottom slate) marking the new surface (back of flap) 
with the figure 4. Now — with a remark about the slates having been marked, slide the top slate off about an inch 
to the right and, grasping it near the upper right corner with the right thumb underneath and fingers on top, turn it 
outward — end for end — and at the same time bring it underneath the top slate and square them. The flap is on 
this slate, held in place by the fingers, and the two slates are placed on the table for a moment. You pick up a 
ribbon, or preferably a large and heavy rubber band. Now pick up the two slates, leaving the flap behind. 
Remarking that they will be securely tied together, make the same move as just described, turning over the top 
slate and bringing it back under the other. The messages are now both inside and the slates are fastened together. 
When revealed, everything can be examined and the numbering all checks perfectly. 

Be careful when handling that the undersides of the slates cannot be seen as the messages are there several times. 
These moves are all simple and, although it may take several readings with the slates in hand to master the 
moves, you will be more than satisfied and pleased with the result. You can vary the effect by having the names 
of cards appear, one on each slate. Or again, have on each slate the answer to separate questions. Finding writing 
on both slates after openly numbering them will fool everyone, even well posted conjurers. 



Dabblers in things of a spiritualistic nature should be interested in the following effect which has been routined 
for small gatherings of the intimate type. It can be carried in the vest pocket and performed practically 
impromptu at any time. Its running time is about seven minutes. 

The performer asks a spectator to write the initials of a dead person on one of seven small white cards, 
explaining that from this point on the card will represent the deceased person and that his burial will be re- 
enacted. On the six remaining pasteboards, the spectator is told to write the initials of six living persons who will 
act as pall-bearers for the "dead" man. 

This done, the "dead name card" is to be placed somewhere in the stack of pall-bearers, while the performer 
stands at a distance. Picking up the stack of seven cards at finger tips, the performer drops them in a borrowed 
hat, calling this the "cemetery." 

He then explains that the dead man was a sincere believer in spiritualism and that he had left a pair of sealed 
slates with a friend sometime before his death, stating that he would attempt to "come back" and manifest his 
return. At this point the performer exhibits two small slates, numbers the lour sides, binds them together with a 
rubber band, and hands them to a member of the audience. 

Suddenly remembering the "pall-bearers" are still in the "cemetery," he remarks that it might be a good plan to 
see that they got home safely. Holding the hat high above his head, he has a spectator reach in and mix up the 
cards after which six of them are removed, one by one, and laid face down on the table, leaving one in the hat. 

The performer now asks the spectator to examine the cards to see if the correct one was "buried." The cards are 
turned face up and prove to be the six "pall-bearers." The slates are opened by the person holding them, and on 
one side are the two initials which match those on the "dead name card" remaining in the hat! Gabbatha! 

Requirements: You will need two miniature vest pocket slates, 2" x 2 1/4", with flap; seven plain white cards, 1 
1/4" x 2"; and a rubber band. To prepare the cards for use in this effect, one of them is coated on one side with 
Simonize (auto polish), allowed to soak for a few minutes, then polished briskly with a piece of cotton and set 
aside to dry over night. With a card thus prepared in a pile of ordinary cards, the packet will cut at the "slick" 
card with a slight pressure and pushing movement to either side. 

Take the flap of the slate and write the figure "2" on one side of it. Now stack the slates with the flap, written 
side down, on the upper surface of the lower slate. Place the rubber band in your right trouser pocket and you are 
set to start. 

Routine: The spectator writes the first and last initials of the "dead name" on the smooth side 
of the "slick" card; the living names on the ordinary cards. He then mixes up the cards and 
returns them to you, and you very carefully take them by your finger tips with the right thumb 
underneath and the first and middle fingers on top of the stack. You now place the stack of cards 
in the hat, but as your hand momentarily goes out of sight, tilt it a bit and with your thumb push lightly on the 
cards towards the right. The packet will cut at the "slick" card and the "dead" initials can be read. Slide the "dead 
card" to one side where it can be reached easily when the hat is next picked up. Set the hat aside for a moment. 

Show the slates freely, then stack them and place them lengthwise on your left palm with one end pressed 
against the base of the thumb, and with your left fingers curled around the other end. 

Write "1" on the upper surface, then turn the slate over by grasping the edge farthest from you and turning it 
towards your body. Apparently write "2" on the new upper surface of the slate, but instead write the "dead name" 
initials you just glimpsed. Turn the slate as before and then turn both slates completely over together. This action 
will cause the flap to drop onto the lower slate and cover the initials you just wrote and, at the same time, will 
bring the "2" previously written on the flap into its correct position. Write "3" on the new top surface, and finally 
turn the single slate over writing "4" on the last side. 

Make a final turn and place this slate below the other which brings the flap surface uppermost. With your left 
thumb slide the top slate to the finger tips, holding the flap in place with your thumb. Exhibit it on both sides, 
showing figures "1" and "2," and pass it to the right hand, which is held with the back to the floor. The slate is 
held with its side edge towards the floor and laying along the forefinger, the right thumb being on the upper 
edge. As the left hand exhibits the other slate to show the sides marked "3" and "4," the right hand tilts slightly 
towards the body and the flap falls into a perfect finger palm on the second and third joints of the middle and 
third fingers. 

Slide the left hand slate behind the one in your right hand, and then the left hand goes into the left pocket 
searching for a rubber band. Not finding it, you transfer the slates to your left hand and carry the palmed flap to 
your right pocket, where you deposit it and bring out the band. This is snapped around the slates before handing 
them to the spectator to hold. 

As the hat is picked up by the right hand to have the cards mixed, your right thumb goes outside of the brim with 
the fingers inside, where they pull the "dead name card" against the side of the hat. Hold it here during the 
subsequent mixing and withdrawal of the six pall-bearer cards. 

While it has taken some time and space to describe the actual movements throughout, the actual working is 
smooth and the patter scheme fits all of the action. Although slightly long, it makes an excellent press stunt 
where the occasion permits. 



Effect: A freely selected card, inserted face up into the face down deck while all is held behind a spectator's 
back, is further protected by his wrapping the cards in a handkerchief. The performer shows two slates, puts 
them together, and the deck in its covering placed on top. After an incantation the pack of cards is unwrapped 
and spread. The card below the faced one is shown. The performer slides the slates apart to show its name 
written on one surface. Then the card above the reversed one is revealed. And the performer shows, written 
across the surface of the other slate, its name, too! 

Preparation: This is a favorite of mine because of the simplicity plus the effect gained. The slates have the 
usual flap. On the flap write the name of the top (face down) card of the deck. On one slate write the name of the 
second card from the bottom of the deck. Put the two chalked sides of flap and slate together, and you are set. 

Routine: Dovetail shuffle the deck, keeping the two important cards in place. Fan the deck for a selection. 
Square the deck, and have the selected card placed face up on the face down deck. Instruct the spectator to insert 
his card somewhere in the deck while he holds it behind his back. As you put the deck behind his back, merely 
turn it over. He inserts what he thinks to be the top card into the deck. Then he is told to cut the pack several 
times. And lastly you take out your breast pocket handkerchief and have him wrap up the deck, still behind his 
back. No one living could know the result of his action. Yet the face up card he chose now rests between the two 
pasteboards you have wanted to force, and the wrapping keeps everyone from discovering that the deck was 

The slates are shown, put together, and the flap dropped. From here on it is simply a case of revelation as 



In the almost innumerable versions of the slate effect, the conjurer has to force the choice of the particular figure, 
word, phrase, etc., he desires to magically produce. The trick I am about to describe enables the performer after 
having offered a perfectly free selection of any card from a pack, to produce an enlargement of it on a previously 
marked slate. 

Preparation: Of the two slates in use, one is previously provided with a large figure 1 drawn from one corner to 
the other through a chart sketch of a pip card, say, the 8 of Spades, as large as the slate itself. 

To mask this preparation, the familiar flap is again requisitioned, one side of which is marked with a large figure 
3. Before placing the flap on the slate, the 8 of Spades is removed from the pack and laid face downward on the 
sketch of itself. The figure 3 on the flap must face the prepared side of the slate so that when in position both 
sides will appear blank. 

Advancing with the ordinary and the unprepared slate in left hand, the flap is marked openly with a large figure 
1, and the opposite side of slate with a large figure 2. 

The second slate is numbered with a 3 on one side and a 4 on the other, these numbers, as the performer 
explains, being written for identification purposes. Presenting a well shuffled pack of cards to a spectator, he or 

she is asked to draw one and place it face downward on slate 1 without looking at it. The patter must be arranged 
so as to misdirect the real motive for this action, emphasis being laid on the fact that no one must know the card 
selected. The slates are now placed together, care being taken that the figure 3 on one side faces the 1 on the flap 
of the other. 

While they are being tied with a ribbon, the positions are reversed so that the flap slate is on top of the other. By 
this arrangement the flap will fall onto the 3 side of the unprepared slate, carrying with it and hiding the selected 
card. (If the slates were to he separated at this point, the writing and the duplicate force card would appear.) And 
this is exactly what happens when the slates are untied! The 8 of Spades, supposedly the selected card, is 
revealed laying face up on the No. 3 (flap) side, while the top slate's inside surface is seen to have its picture in 
chalk. The entire action of this slate maneuver is shown in Figures 1 and 2. 

The right hand tips the card from the flap slate over onto the surface of the left hand slate with sketch and the 
flap slate is tossed with flap side down upon your table as you come forward and pass the left hand slate out 


Sake ted Gud‘- fitry card 

to the selector of the card. Saying, "And here is your material proof of something beyond the veil working in our 
interests," you then take back the slate, continuing, "You may keep the card as a constant reminder of 
occurrances strange. I need the slate for future attempts to pass an hitherto unsurmountable barrier." 



Effect: "There are people," begins the performer, "who just don't believe in anything, even when they see it 
before their very eyes. They are the skeptics of the world who hold back and retard progress in almost every line 
of creative endeavor. My experiment now is to duplicate the accomplishment of many spiritualistic mediums — 
that of receiving a written message from "the happy summer land," that part of the veiled universe where 
departed souls live, and strive to make their thoughts and wishes made known to us still among the living." 

The performer shows a single slate to be clean on both sides. He asks two close-by spectators to initial each side, 
one of whom then holds the slate close to his body for the time being. 

"While messages have been received countless times under as stringent conditions as this," he continues, "the 
unbelievers talk of trickery, and that is why I want to try and prove otherwise. I don't want to know what is going 
to be the result, that is, if we are successful in establishing a contact with the far beyond. For test purposes I 
cannot ask any certain one of you to help. We must leave that selection to chance." 

The performer-medium passes out ten envelopes, each containing a blank card. He calls attention to the fact that 
each envelope is numbered from 1 to 10. Each spectator receiving one is to write a simple query upon his card 
and then seal it inside the accompanying envelope. The performer follows this up by collecting the envelopes on 
a tray, and dumping them into another person's lap. 

"It's best that I don't touch your envelopes," he says. Next he takes from his side coat pocket a handful of 
counters. "There are ten of these," the performer blandly remarks, as he drops them into the hands of still another 
person. "You see?" He takes them back. "One counter and only one will be picked." He drops them back into his 
side coat pocket and, shaking the pocket, holds it open for a selection by the spectator. "The number?" asks the 
wizard. Perhaps it is 8. He turns toward the man with the envelopes. "Find the envelope numbered 8, open it, and 
read aloud so everyone can hear the question inside." 

The spectator does so. It might be something such as, "Will a state of war exist between the United States of 
America and Germany?" 

The performer nods to an acknowledgment of the question, and tells the man with the envelopes to pass the rest 
of them around, as they are of no further use. 


"And thus we've found and determined upon a question 
which no one of us could have foretold would be asked or selected." The performer says this as he approaches 
the man who has been guarding the slate. "Honestly, now," he asks that person, "Do you think that anyone has 
had access to the slate you hold, or that any entity of an invisible nature might have been close by?" It's a tricky 
question and the person will have to hesitate. The audience takes this for indecision and you take advantage of 
the stall by reaching for the slate and asking, "Those are your initials, aren't they?" 

Then you call the other "initial man" forward. He sees the other side of the slate and agrees when you ask if his 
initials aren't there also. 

Then you turn the slate around towards the audience. It bears a chalked on message! and the writing could read 
something like, "WAR IS HELL!" which is a perfect answer to the question asked. We would like to finish by 
saying, "And that, my friends, is proof enough that from another level of being has come an answer as well as a 

Preparation: A single slate bearing a flap with a semi-circular piece cut out of one corner, and a metal or 
wooden tray, built on the lines of the "money tray" so as to deliver an extra envelope at the right time. See 

To get back to the flap slate. The answer to your forced question is chalked onto the slate, a semicircle is drawn 
in one corner and this side is covered with the flap. This is laid on the table, together with the envelopes and the 
tray. In the false bottom of the tray is your extra envelope, marked No. 8, in which is sealed your force question. 

Routine: Pick up the slate and show it on both sides as you talk, and at that time you chalk on a semi-circle in 
one corner on each side. When marking your semicircle on the flap side, your chalk follows the cut edge of the 
flap. The chalked line effectively hides the line of demarcation between the flap and the slate proper. It is in this 
corner that the first spectator marks his initials, which go onto the slate itself. At this time you go back and drop 
the slate onto your table. Then, as an afterthought, pick it up again, minus the flap, and have a second person step 
forward. He initials the unprepared side in its designated comer, and you push the slate under his coat, asking 
him to hold it. 

The envelopes are stacked on your tray, so you pick it up and pass among the spectators, asking several people to 
take one until they are gone. You hold the tray at the opening side for the distribution, and also for the collection 
of them. Thus you do not handle the envelopes at any time, which is a strong point in your favor. There are only 
9 envelopes in your stack instead of ten, but no one will notice this. After collecting the envelopes, change the 
tray to your other hand, thus freeing the opening in the false bottom, and dump the trayful of envelopes into 
someone's lap. The extra No. 8 envelope falls with them. 

Next comes the force of that added envelope with the question, the answer to which is on the slate being held. 
All suit coats are made with a small change pocket at the top of one or both of the side pockets. In the pocket 
proper put ten counters bearing the same number, in this instance 8. In the little pocket put ten counters 
numbered consecutively beginning at 1. It is from this little pocket that you take the counters which you hand 
someone and take back. You put them back into that little pocket, and shake the entire pocket as you hold it open 
for a selection. If the coat pockets have flaps, so much the better. Keep the flap open for the first showing and 
return. Then turn the flap inside and let the spectator reach freely. The little pocket is covered. Otherwise merely 
hold your hand there in an effort to keep the pocket open and make the spectator's task of reaching in easier. 

The rest you know. Just remember that no matter what question you may use, keep it topical, be certain that the 
answer definitely fits the question so that no checkup with its writer is necessary, and keep the answer short so as 
to show up on the slate. When you apparently get an acknowledgment after the question first is read aloud, it's a 
lie — for you look around and then nod with a gesture at — the Lord only knows whom. No one else will know 
either, but you've made a subtle point. 



Jean Hugard has a clever and subtle method of handling a flap in this effect and I know it will find favor with not 
a few club and close-up workers. All in all, the general effect has not been changed much insofar as a message or 

name still appears on the slate. Mr. Hugard's subtlety consists of making the conditions appear stricter by the 
application of a piece of newspaper cut to slate surface size. After showing the slates as usual and cleaning them, 
a piece of newsprint is stuck to one side of one slate by its corners with bits of wax. 

Unbeknown to the audience there is a message already written on one slate, which has been covered by a 
duplicate piece of newspaper stuck to the slate, and this newspaper in turn has been covered with the usual flap. 
The paper the audience first sees is dutifully stuck to the flap and the two slates are placed together. Mr. Hugard 
gave me no definite excuse for the paper, but I suggest that patter be formed regarding the necessity of absolute 
darkness and suggesting further that failure has resulted at times when even the slate frames were not exactly 
true and even. 

Concluding this bit of patter, the performer separates the slates again and has a spectator, who is later to open the 
slate, initial the paper with a crayon. Of course, he initials the piece of paper covering the message, the flap 
bearing the piece of paper which the audience has seen having been dropped to the other slate. The slates are 
placed together again with the message slate on top and they are held by the spectator until it is time for the 
climax. The performer again takes them and separates them, and discards the lower slate bearing the flap. The 
spectator identifies his markings on the top slate, removes the paper and finds the message. This leaves the slate 
and paper in the audience, and all evidence of trickery has been done away with very neatly. 



Now for a slate effect in which two messages are obtained on one slate. The operator picks up a schoolbag, and 
opening it withdraws a number of books, a slate, a piece of chalk and a duster. The patter theme runs along the 
lines that the schoolbag belonged to one little Willie, since departed, and how now, strange things happen inside 
the bag. Cleaning the slate the operator marks it on one side with a name or an initial. Whilst this is going on the 
schoolbag can be examined by a member of the audience. Receiving the schoolbag again, the performer places 
the slate and piece of chalk inside it. The bag is then hung by its strap on the back of a chair. Advancing with the 
books, four or five in number, one is selected by a member of the audience. The selector of the book is then 
asked to open it to a page which is decided upon and to read aloud the first line on the page. However, in arriving 
at a page number, the performer has noted down several freely suggested numbers on a pad and totaled the 
column, arriving at 91. When this is handed to another spectator to check, he reminds the performer that a 
mistake has been made and that the total should be 94. It is page 94 then to which the book is opened and the line 

The performer now calls upon little Willie to manifest himself by writing on the slate, in chalk, the line selected. 
The slate is withdrawn from the schoolbag and it is shown to contain the written line. However, the man with the 
book says it's not the correct line. "What a pity," says the performer, "he never could count. It’s probably the line 
from some entirely different page; let’s give him another chance." The slate is cleaned and replaced in the 
schoolbag. After the necessary interval it is withdrawn and the correct line found written on the slate. 

A subtle point in this routine is that the first message to appear is really the first line of page 91. Acting on the 
suggestion proposed in your patter given above, the man with the book is sure to check page 91 after the effect is 
successfully concluded. He’ll tell the others for certain thus adding a decided punch to the whole effect. 

Although only an ordinary flap slate is used in the making of this effect, it will be noted that two messages are 
produced instead of the usual one; also that there is no doubt in the minds of the spectators that both the slate and 
the schoolbag are free from preparation, as both are passed into the hands of the audience at some time during 
the presentation. 

Requirements: One schoolbag, scribbling pad, pencil, tray, dust cloth, a flap slate, a piece of chalk and a 
number of books, one of which you will force. In making the necessary preparation, write the first line of page 

91 on one side of the slate. On the flap write the first line of page 94, and place the written side of the flap 
against the written side of the slate so that the slate now appears blank on both sides. The dust cloth is rolled into 
a ball and put in a corner of the bag. The slate and other articles are dumped into the bag and you're ready to 
present the effect. 

Presentation: Introduce the bag and remove all the articles except the dusting cloth. Hand the bag to someone to 
examine and he'll bring out the cloth — thus subtly proving that there's nothing left in the bag. The books and the 
cloth are placed on the table or a chair while the slate and chalk are held. Asking for a name or someone's 
initials, you write this on the non-flap side of the slate. Take back the bag and replace the slate. Directly that it is 
inside, tilt the bag, causing the flap to fall out of the slate and against the side of the bag. Now force the correct 
book from among five on the tray, using the usual equivoque. Pick up the scribbling pad and pass from one 
member of the audience to another, asking them to suggest numbers which you write down in a column. 
However, you mentally keep track of the total. 

When it has reached the total of not less than eighty-five and not more than ninety, you thank them and start to 
total the column. In the course of doing so, you deliberately add the figure necessary to make the column total 
94, but actually you put down 91. Hand the pad to the person with the book, or his neighbor, who will of course 
correct your addition. The assistant now look up the first line on page 94. 

Remove the slate from the bag, leaving the flap behind. It is handed to the spectator ostensibly for him to read 
what is written, and also to allow him to handle the slate and convince himself that it is unprepared. The sentence 
proves to be the wrong one, so you pick up the duster and erase the writing and then replace the slate in the bag. 
This time you place it behind the flap, i.e., so the blank side of the flap comes against the clean side of the slate. 
When removing the slate the second time, the flap is removed with it, it being an easy matter to slip it into the 
slate frame and hold it in place as the fingers withdraw the slate. The correct line now appears to be written on 
the slate. Simultaneously with the withdrawal of the slate, the schoolbag is turned over with the other hand, 
allowing the chalk to drop to the floor, thus mutely calling attention to the fact that the bag is otherwise empty. 



Effect: The performer chooses a prominent member of the audience and hands him a piece of chalk and a slate 
and stands him at one side of the stage, or across the room. The performer stands at the opposite side of the stage 
and also holds a slate and a piece of chalk. Four more volunteers are asked to stand at their seats in the audience. 

The first volunteer is asked to concentrate upon his year of birth. The second thinks of the year in which his wife 
was born. The third person mentally selects any important year, in the last 20, during which an event of 
consequence has happened for him. To further vary the numbers selected, the fourth assistant thinks of the first 
four figures of his telephone number, license number. Social Security Card, etc. After a bit of concentration, the 
performer writes upon his slate the total of these four mentally chosen numbers. 

The four audience standees are now asked to call out their selected numbers, and the assistant on the stage writes 
them down in a column on the slate he holds. He is requested to add them and call aloud the total, and then show 
it to the audience. (You can invite members of the audience to take down the numbers and add them for a double 
check — and this is a very strong point.) The climax arrives when the performer shows his slate to contain the 
correct total of the four numbers! 

Routine: There are points in this presentation that afford exceptional clearness and directness 
of action. Magicians, especially, expect trickery either in the adding operation or in the 
performer's handling of his slate and chalk. However, there is no evident trickery at any time, and all 
material is unprepared. After such a buildup, I can see some readers quitting when a plant is mentioned. I only 
hope they'll follow through and try it out. The plant is the fourth person to stand. 

The selection of volunteers is made according to the following table: 

1st — Between 25 to 30 years of age. 

2nd — Between 25 to 30 years of age. 

3rd — Any age. 

4th — Is a stooge who knows the total to be reached; we shall say 7595. 


1st — Think of the year he or she was born. 

2nd — Think of the year his wife or her husband was born. 

3rd — Think of any year within the last 20, of importance to him or her. 

4th — Think of the first four figures of license, telephone, etc. (???) By following the above tables, the selected 
number will always fall within a certain range of years. See the first table in conjunction with the following. 
1st— 1906 to 1921 

2nd — 1906 to 1921 — due to the fact that husband and wife ages are nearly alike, or within ten years' difference. 
3rd— 1924 to 1944 

4th — The first two digits of your stooge's number to be called is 18. He acquires the other two digits as follows. 
As each of the first three calls his number to be written down on stage, the stooge makes a mental addition of the 
last two digits only. He then subtracts this total from the last two digits in the prearranged number (95) and gets 
the last two digits of the number he is to call. He puts 18 in front of them, and calls out the lour figure number. 
The addition of the four sets of selected numbers now totals the prearranged total of 7595. 


1st— 1910 

The stooge’s thoughts — 1st — 10 

2nd— 1913 

2nd — 13 


3rd— 1924 

3rd — 24 


4th— 1848 





7595 — the prearranged total 18 before the 48 remainder — 1848 

This is one effect where a stooge is never suspected. The explanation to a prospective plant is simple and easily 
understood. Give it just one try. 



The subtlety used in this number divination feat is quite ingenious, and a perfect example of misdirection. The 
routine is simple, direct and convincing. 

Effect: Three people write mentally selected numbers on a pad of paper. The performer has correctly prophesied 
the total on a slate, and although this effect is not new, the method is certainly a psychological improvement over 
others of the same nature. 

Preparation: Use a small scratch pad about 2 by 3 inches. Take the backing off so either side may be used for 
writing. On one side, using two styles of writing, put any two two-figure numbers, for instance 34 and 86. I 
suggest using two numbers whose total ends in zero, as the total of these two figures must be kept in mind. For 
the above figures, you would remember 120. 

Routine: Select a spectator on your left and have him think of a number from ten to one hundred. With pad and 
pencil in hand, as though you were about to jot it down, ask him to whisper his number to you. When he does so, 
start to write it down, then pause a moment, and state that before you start the test, you will write a prediction 
which will not be revealed until the test is finished. Write something on the slate, and put it writing side down in 
full view. Ask the first person to keep his number in mind for a minute while you go to a person on your right. 
Hand the pencil and pad to him (don't worry about the numbers on the bottom of the pad, as they never turn it 
over) and ask him to write a number of two digits. Another person near the center is asked to do the same. 

Now return to the first person on your left, and as you approach him, the left hand at side turns the pad over, 
bringing the previously written numbers to the top. Ask the spectator if he is still thinking of his number . . . then 
have him write it below the two previously written numbers on the pad. For further identification have him initial 
the paper, tear it off and keep it. You pocket the pad. 

As you walk away, stress what has been done. Three numbers were thought of, and you wrote on the slate before 
anything at all was written down. The spectator with sheet adds the numbers, and then stands and reads the total 
aloud. The slate is shown and the predicted sum is correct. 

HOW? Because after the first spectator gave you his number, you remembered (?) to make the prediction on the 
slate, and this predicted total was his whispered number plus the total of the two already written by you on the 
underside of pad. Thus, with 34 and 86 you would have kept in mind 120. If the first spectator had whispered 24, 
the prophecy would have been 144. 

I suggest taking the paper from the spectator after he has read the total, and show it to one or two people nearby. 
Then pocket it and reveal what is on the slate. This principle gets entirely away from the old 9 principle which 
many know, and the fact that the last writer keeps the paper and adds does away with any thought of exchange. 



With the routine employed in the following trick, the slates may be shown high up in front rather than to one 
side, and two successive messages can be obtained. 

Effect: We say "effect" when in truth this is merely a description of that part of an effect in which you produce 
one or two spirit messages on two slates. However, the handling has some nice points as you will see. The 
performer shows two slates, the sides of which are numbers from 1 to 4. These are exhibited quite freely and are 
put together. When taken apart a few minutes later, the numbering is still intact, but each slate bears a message 
on its inner side. 

For those who want to produce two messages, or one long message with half of it on each slate, or as Ted 
Annemann suggested — a message on one slate with an important detail missing, which is later found on the 
second slate, then we can recommend this routine. 

Preparation: The numbers and messages are written with No. 98 Sanford White Ink, using a small camel's hair 
brush. The contrast and reading is better than with chalk. The writing may be washed off later if you want to 
change the messages for another trick. 

To arrange the slate set up, place Nos. 1 and 5 on one slate, and on the "1" side, one of the messages. With this 
message face up, and the numbered end of the slate AWAY from you, place it on the table to your right. 

The other slate is numbered 2 and 4 with the message on the "4" side. Pick up this second slate with the "2" side 
up and with the numbered end TOWARDS you and place it on the table at your left. 

Now number your flap 1 and 4, but on OPPOSITE ends. Take the flap with the "1" side up and towards you, and 
place it on the slate to your right covering the message on the first slate. Now pick up the slate to your left and 
place it on the right slate. No. 2 side will now be on top. 

Routine: Pick up the squared slates and hold them in front of your chest, with your hands at the sides, so that the 
No. 2 side will be facing audience, with the number at top. Slide the rear slate (the one nearest you) off to the 
right, holding the flap on its front with the right forefinger. Thus the audience sees one side of each slate 
numbered respectively, 1 and 2. 

Put them back together and turn them over end for end. Separate them exactly as before, the flap having dropped 
to the new rear slate during the turn over, and show the audience the sides numbered 3 and 4. Nothing could be 
fairer! The audience has now seen all sides of the slates! 

Lay the slates on the table, remembering which message you want first, so that you can have either the No. 2 or 
the No. 3 side uppermost. To reveal the message, pick up the slates together, slide off the top slate and show the 
message it contains. Let the under slate with the flap be seen carelessly as devoid of writing, and drop it on the 
table — flap side down — as you rub off the message on the slate you are holding. Do not, however, rub off the 
number. A damp cloth will clean the slate very nicely. 

Pick up the second slate, leaving its flap on the table. Remember that this second slate contains a message on its 
lower face, so do not let the audience get a flash of it. Place it on the slate you have just cleaned. Give them to 
someone to hold, and when they are separated a second message appears! Everything may now be examined, as 
the numbering is correct as at first. 

If you use Annemann's suggestion, do not erase the first slate whose message is minus some important detail. 
After showing the message, pick up the second slate (containing the missing detail), place it on top of the first 
slate and give them to someone to hold. When separated, the spirits are found to have added the missing details 
on the second slate!!! The effect is thus brought to a surprise finish, and leaves the slates perfectly numbered and 
with writing on both. 



Effect: In this very effective mystery simplicity reigns supreme. A slate and a piece of chalk are given to a 
spectator who faces the audience. The performer is isolated in any fair manner, preferably by turning his back 
and standing in a far corner. The spectator is requested to think of a word or name and write it on the slate. 
Secondly he is asked to think of a number and to write that also. Finally he thinks of some geometrical design 
and draws that, as well. 

Everything he has put on the slate he now shows to the audience. The performer directs everything from where 
he is located, and makes it very obvious that it is impossible for him to receive any clue as to what had been 
written. Once everyone has seen what the assistant has written and drawn, he is asked to erase it, lay it on the 
table and resume his seat. 

The performer picks up the slate and the chalk and. standing facing the audience, asks everyone to concentrate 
on the word that was written. Then he writes something on the slate. Anyone now calls the word on which they 
have all been concentrating, and the performer turns his slate around and shows that he has actually written that 
very same word. 

Erasing this, they are all asked to concentrate on the number while the performer again writes. Someone else 
names the number, the performer turns his slate and he is right a second time. The number is erased and. while 
all think of the picture, the performer succeeds in duplicating it! The effect is presented simply as a case of 
"thought rays" emanating from a large group all thinking of the same subject. 

Preparation: You use nothing but the slate, chalk and a piece of dry, soft cotton cloth for the erasing. But 
beforehand, there is a slight preparation. Clean the slate well with ammonia water and let it dry. This is to 
remove all traces of oil from the surface. 

Take a piece of white chalk and let it soak in Three-And-One Oil, then dry the chalk so that it is not oily to the 
touch. Anything now written on the ammonia cleaned slate with this prepared chalk, and afterwards erased, will 
leave a very light oily line tracing on the slate. This can be read by you if the slate is tilted slightly at an angle 
under a light, yet the surface itself appears void of writing. 

Routine: The working now becomes clear when the effect is reread. I advise having the spectator stand where 
there isn't an overabundance of light but there need be little fear on this score. The effect may be presented under 
the most trying conditions and will not be found wanting.* 



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a slate effect that is considerably off the 

beaten path, so far as its impression on the audience is concerned. 

Effect: The performer shows a large display board (it can be made to fit the suitcase, or fold to fit a briefcase) 
upon which can be seen a long list of Kings who, throughout history, have either been murdered or deposed (see 
illustration). It is shown that the fatal number 2 has been in evidence constantly and that around these rulers there 
existed something unknown, something far greater than mere coincidence can explain away. 

Two slates and a packet of cards containing the names and countries of the 18 rulers are at hand. The slates are 
shown blank on all sides, secured together with two elastic bands, and two spectators each hold an end of them. 

Two more spectators step forward and one mixes the packet of cards thoroughly. The other spectator stands 
beside the large display board (containing the list of 18 deposed rulers as illustrated here) and is told to start at 
the top and tap each name deliberately and slowly down the column, stopping wherever he may please (this is 
NOT a force). At the same time, the man with the shuffled packet of cards holds them face down and deals off a 
card each time the first man touches a name. He stops dealing when the man stops pointing. The name and 
country is read aloud. The second man turns over the last card he dealt and shows it. It bears the same name and 

The first coincidence having been proven, the performer has the card dealer turn over the next card and call it 
aloud. The performer takes back the 

* Note by Annemann: Zancig Annemann:Zancig sold an effect like this for $10 shortly before his death, but It 
was for two people. The medium was guarded while the items were being written on a blackboard. The 
performer secretly copied them on a piece of chalk with flat sides, and substituted this for the piece In use. The 

medium on return used this written-on piece of chalk and thus secured the necessary information I'm not 
violating any confidence by revealing this because it has long been off the market, and besides it can be found on 
page 295 of Carrington'sCarrington's "PhysicalPhysical Phenomena of Spiritualism," which was published 
firstfirst in 1907. I think that Mr. Duncanson's method for one person is an ingenious improvement that really 
modernizes the entire effect. 

two slates and shows the inside surface of one. On it is a large and heavy chalked signature of that ruler. Stating 
that he will go a bit further, the performer announces that he has not only secured the signature from a ghostly 
land, but has also managed to get a picture of the ruler as he is today. Turning the other slate, he shows a large 
chalked picture of a skull ! 

Requirements: Practically everything used is familiar. The two slates have a common and not too tight flap. The 
signature of, say the tenth king, Alexander, is written on one side of the flap. The skull is drawn on the inside of 
one slate. Cover with flap and mark the frame on other side so you know later which is which. Get blank playing 
cards from your dealer and make two sets of 18 cards each, according to the list of rulers and countries. Now 
make an extra card for the tenth name, Alexander II of Russia. 

On the back of the display board is fastened a simple chair back servante used for cards and found in every 
magical catalogue. The small bag has just above it a clip in which is resting one of the 18 card packets, arranged 
from back to face EXACTLY the same as the list of names on the board from top to bottom. The board is placed 
in front of a chair, resting on the floor. The extra card is put in the performer's right trouser pocket. The other 18 
card packet is setting on the table together with slates. Two elastic bands are at hand. 

Routine: Attention is called to the list and the story told of the apparently gruesome curse. The two slates are 
shown casually, placed together and fastened with the two bands. Two people assist in holding them. 

Two more spectators help. One is given the packet of cards to read a few aloud and shuffle well. The performer 
takes them back in his left hand as he asks the other person to stand near the board and touch the names. In 
explaining this part, the performer picks up the board with his left hand at top, thumb in front, and the packet of 
cards he holds goes out of sight for a second. It drops into the bag and the fingers grasp the substitute deck as the 
board is picked up and placed on the chair seat against the back. This switch to arranged deck is perfect and most 

The first man having been told how to point, the other is given back his deck. No matter where the first man 
stops in his pointing, the second man must be at the same name with his cards. As this is being done, secure the 
extra card from your pocket. When the man stops pointing, take the remaining cards from the second man while 
he turns over his last card dealt. Add the force card to the top of this packet and, after this part of the effect, hand 
the packet back to him and ask that he turn over the next card and call it out. 

Take back the two slates. Remove the bands and hold them flat with the marked side upward. Remove the lower 
slate (with flap) and show the correct signature. Lay aside, and talk for a moment about getting a picture of the 
ruler as he is today. Then you can freely turn the other slate up and show the skull! 



This test is a prize example of audience befuddlement. There are performers who will take hold of an experiment 
of this sort and build it into a feature number. 

Effect: The performer shows about 20 blank pieces of cardboard. Or he may use his own business cards for the 
purpose, as they are always left behind with the audience. The people present now call out two figure numbers 
and these are written upon the cards, a single two figured number to each card. As each card is so inscribed it is 
dropped into a bowl or hat and at the conclusion of the procedure any spectator gives the cards a violent mixing. 

Now passing to two others of the company, the performer asks each to reach in and draw out a handful of the 
numbers. Those remaining are kept by the man who mixed the cards and passed the container. During this time 

the performer has not touched the container or had any part in the procedure after writing the cards when the 
numbers were called. 

Standing for a moment before each spectator, the performer gazes into his eyes and then inscribes something on 
a small slate he carries. Each of the three spectators is now asked to add together all of the numbers he has in his 
possession. During this interval the performer is seen to be adding numbers on his slate. He finally puts down a 
total and erases the other inconsequential numbers on the slate. The slate is placed writing side down to one side 
and another picked up. 

Each of the three persons now gives his total and these are openly written on the second slate for all to see. A 
line is drawn under them and these, in turn, are added and a total reached. The performer recalls that the numbers 
used have been selected by the spectators at the start, and that in all selections and adding, the procedures have 
been entirely under their own control. 

Picking up his first slate the performer shows what he wrote at the beginning. It is the same total arrived at by 
the spectators! 

Method: Little has to be said about the solution for it is really simple. The entire swindle, for it is but little more 
than that, lies in the cards written upon at the outset. Although the performer asks for two figure numbers called 
at random from 10 to 99, and then apparently writes each upon a card, he actually writes only HALF the 
numbers called. For example: The first number called is, say, 28. The performer writes this upon a card and 
drops it into the hat or bowl. When the second number is called he completely disregards it, and really writes 
that number which, when added to the number called before, will total 100, in this case 72. And so he proceeds 
through the cards, writing what the audience calls on the odd cards and then what will bring it to 100 on the 

Now it will be seen that although the cards be mixed eternally and added in any combination, the grand total of 
20 cards will always be 1000. More than 20 or less than 20 cards will give proportionate grand totals, figuring 
100 for each pair of two cards. 

1000 would be a suspicious total, so to offset this defect the performer on the last card deliberately adds a 
number which would be more than 100, or less than 100. For instance the number called on the next to the last 
card might be 73. On the last card, instead of writing 27 as should be done (to make 100 total for the two cards), 
the performer could write 51, or 24 more than necessary. Now the grand total will be 1024 instead of an even 
1000. By writing a number less than 27, the grand total would be correspondingly less than 1000. 

An alternate and very easy way to accomplish this "different total" at each performance is to have an extra, or 
21st, card. The performer follows the rules through the first 20, each pair totaling 100. On the last card he writes 
exactly what is called and that number itself, added to 1000, will be the grand total. This eliminates any figuring 
upon the performer's part. The audience automatically makes the grand total different each time merely by 
naming the last, or 2 1 st, number. 

Be sure to make a great show of mixing and the selection of the numbered cards. Keep away from the operations 
after the start so that it all appears more than fair. The audience gets tangled up in the simple solution, always 
looking for a complicated maze of formulae. 

For the performer who is really a showman, this is a very worthwhile effect. 



Effect: The performer puts a single slate and a pack of cards on the table. Before leaving the room he asks a 
spectator to shuffle the deck (all of this after he is out of sight, of course), cut it several times, and then put the 
top card face down under the slate. The mystic returns when this has been done. He peers at the blank upper 
surface of the slate. He may state that he is going to prove that man can, with proper training, use his eyes and 
brain to surmount normally impassible barriers. He draws a picture of a card on the upper side of the slate. He 

steps away. His picture is seen and named. The slate is lifted and the card beneath turned over. It's the same one 
drawn by the performer! 

Preparation: Use a marked deck and stack it in the Si Stebbins order or the "Eight-Kings" arrangement. Use a 
marked deck that will not take too much squinting to decipher the top card. 

Routine: Step away and let someone give the deck a shuffle. As you get almost out of talking distance tell him 
to cut the pack a couple of times. Then he takes the top card and puts it under the slate. You return, pick up the 
piece of chalk on the table and concentrate. It is easy enough for you to see the top card of the deck laying close 
by, catch its identity, and count one back in the stack system. That gives you the name of the card under the 
slate. Why? And after the shuffle? Simply because a stacked deck can be hastily shuffled by anyone and still 
remain stacked in sections too many to mention. After this shuffle it is cut once or twice. The percentage is 
terrific in favor of the top two cards being mates. Therefore, when one is taken from the top and put under the 
slate, the next can tattle if you know how to read its marks. 

It but remains for you to draw its picture on the slate — the card beneath, and, in the remote case of failure, just 
admit of a "fog" and try again, turning the slate over and having the deck cut again for another selection. It will 
be an event in your life when you must try the second time. 



Effect: The performer shuffles a deck before a volunteer and gives it to him for further 
mixing. He cuts, looks at the top card, and buries it in the center of the deck, or thereabouts. Next he 
is asked to fan the deck out and hold it with faces toward himself. All of this time has seen the performer at a far 
side of the room. 

The performer now holds a slate and chalk. He attempts to get an impression, but is dissatisfied. He moves 
toward the spectator, asking him to hold the fan of cards up and directly before himself. The spectator is told to 
try and see his card among all of the others. The performer comes close and raises or lowers the spectator's arms 
to an eye level. Then he steps away and does another picture. The spectator names his card — and the slate is 
shown. It is pictured there. 

Method: Again we have used a marked and stacked deck — and again we have presented the effect in such a 
manner as to deceive the most erudite. The first shuffle by the performer was false, a mere matter of cuts. The 
spectator's shuffle was slight — the performer didn't let much time elapse before telling the person to cut the deck, 
pick off the top card, look at it, and bury it. The first bit of writing on the slate was fakery. Then the performer 
approached the spectator with his fan of cards. His maneuvers here amounted to nothing, except, he was able to 
see and read the identity of the top card of the deck — at his (performer's) right end of the fan. Counting one back 
he knew which card to draw actually on the second attempt. 



Effect: This very effective experiment, built around the trick of a slate with a loose flap, offers sundry points of 
novelty. Two slates, after being marked on both sides with identifying numbers, are tied together with a piece of 
tape and entrusted to someone in the audience to hold. The titles of well-known magazines are called out by 
various spectators and written down in succession by the performer on plain postcards, each name being verified 
as it is written by a gentleman who stands at the performer's side. About half a dozen having been suggested, the 
cards are openly handed to the man on the stage to be shuffled, after which he is requested to retain any one of 
them and return the others to the performer. The selected card, the name upon which is only known to the helper, 
is placed by him in an envelope chosen from a packet and having been carefully sealed and marked is handed to 
the person holding the slates. Upon separating the slates a few seconds later, the selected name is discovered 
written in chalk upon one of them, while the envelope, bearing the initials of the second person, on being torn 
open reveals the title page of the selected magazine instead of the card. 

Preparation: Despite precautions to eliminate forcing, one of the slates contains a previously chalked name of a 
popular periodical, certain to be called, on one side covered with a flap. The title sheet of this magazine is folded 
and put into an envelope after subjecting it to a little preparation. A triangular piece cut from the top of a 
postcard is pasted to the sheet's back, so that when it is inserted in the envelope the top edge of a postcard alone 
is visible, and the presence of the title is never suspected. The envelope containing this faked sheet is deposited 
on the top of the packet to be utilized for the experiment. 

Now the postcards. Of these, a dozen will be required, five of which arc prepared beforehand by writing on the 
blank side the name to be reproduced between the slates. Place them on the table with printed sides up, and the 
seven unprepared cards on top of them. 

Routine: Having numbered the slates, they are placed for a moment on the table while the tape is shown and 
when again picked up to be tied, the flap is allowed to remain behind. The next step is to write the called out 
names of the various journals, and it is at this part of the effect that a very subtle deception is employed. 

Taking the dozen postcards from the table, the performer nonchalantly takes about half of 
them and hands them to the assistant for scrutiny. He hands them back and the performer puts 
them on top of the others which he holds in his left hand, as per Fig. 5. While asking for the 
first name, the top card is apparently taken in the right hand, turned over and placed on the stack as in Fig. 6, 
the bulk of the cards forming a pad to facilitate ease in writing. In reality, however, the TWO top cards are taken 
as one, turned over as described, and the first name is written as called out. Five other cards are added, one by 
one, each receiving a name given by members of the audience. 

Now, while asking for the next name, a peculiar turn over is given to the two packets which should be readily 
understood by studying sketches 7 and 8. The two packets are caused to make a revolution by altering the 
positions of thumb and first finger, the former being passed below the packets and the latter above. A slight 
upward pressure of the thumb causes the revolution and leaves the packets to all intents and purposes the same as 
they were a second previously. The card A in Fig. 8 will now be the one that was behind the first one drawn, 
consequently a blank card, and it is quickly placed on B to hide from the assistant's view the name already 
written on it, and the remainder very deliberately placed on the table. It is advisable to have a friend call out the 
required name at this stage, i.e., seventh, so that the last name may be verified as were the previous ones. Should, 
however, the name be called out earlier, it must be written down again instead of the last name called, care being 
taken that the gentleman does not see this. Having written on the last blank card, the packet is handed to the 
spectator to be shuffled, which, of course, does not affect the trick in the least, as all the six cards will have the 
same name written on them. 

Having made his selection of a card, the gentleman takes one of the envelopes spread before him, and into this 
he places the postcard he has chosen. It is handed back to the performer and is promptly changed for the top 
envelope of the pack in the act of turning to put them on the table. Then, openly, the card seen in the envelope is 
sealed and the flap marked. When opening the envelope at the conclusion, care must be taken that the fake piece 
of card is not exposed as stuck to the rear of the title page. 



Effect: Saying that he wishes to demonstrate an example of the ultimate in coincidence, the performer shows a 
glass bowl full of one-inch square cardboards, each bearing a letter of the alphabet. These may be shown freely 
as there is nothing wrong with them in any way. A spectator is asked to reach into the bowl and take therefrom a 
small handful (say, 7 or 8) of the letters. These he drops into a letter envelope which is sealed and given to him 
to hold for the time being. 

Next, on a pad, three spectators write rows of three figures each, one under the other. A fourth person adds up 
the columns while the performer returns to the front and picks up a newspaper which he gives someone close by. 
Then he takes a school slate, piece of chalk, and speaks to the man who has added the figures. 

As this total of 4 figures is announced, the performer writes upon the slate (suppose 4382 to 
be the total) PAGE — 4, COLUMN — 3, LINE — 8, WORD — 2. Then, turning to the one 
holding the newspaper, the performer asks that he open the sheet to the fourth page. Next he is 
to pick out the third column. When this has been done he is requested to count down to the 
eighth line, and lastly count across that line to the second word. Then he if to draw a circle around that word 
which has been so fairly picked. 

The magician now shows his strange knowledge of coincidence by having the chosen letters called off by their 
selector. As they are named he writes them across the other side of the slate. But, instead of making a word as 

written, the letters could look like A H E T E R W. The performer blandly asks the man with the newspaper if 
that is the word at which he has been looking. It could be a typographical error, of course. The answer is "No." 

The slate is turned over and a quick check through of the position numbers made. Everything is in order. The 
spectator names the word. The performer says that coincidence supplied the correct letters but they were read out 
in the wrong order. The man with the letters calls them through correctly. Finally calling upon his powers as a 
magician, the performer turns the slate around to show that the letters have rearranged themselves and now 
correctly spell "Weather, " the selected word!! 

Preparation: With such an effect at hand, probably most of the readers would find no difficulty in constructing 
a method. There really are three separate parts — the selection of the letters, the reaching of a desired total, and 
the transposition of letters written on the slate. Apparatus necessities are small. 

Secure or make three sets of the alphabet on one-inch square cardboards. A pad of paper with no backing, a 
pencil, a slate with a loose flap and chalk, a newspaper, and a faked envelope complete the requisites. 

Open the paper and locate a page numbered with a single digit, preferably 2, 3 or 4. This page must contain a 
column of reading matter which starts at the top with no headlines or other confusing data. Look for an 
expressive word (not "the," "and," "there," etc.) somewhere among the first nine lines. Then jot down your four 
figures which find this particular word as described in the effect. That's your total. 

Next originate a three row three figured addition problem, that, when added up, will result in the desired total. 
Take the backless pad. Being careful not to tear off the sheets, copy this problem on the under side of both the 
top and bottom pages. Each line should appear in different handwriting. Do not draw any line underneath. 

On one surface of the slate, write the word you have picked in large chalk letters. Cover this with the flap. 

Pick out, from your bowl of letters, the ones which spell out the chosen word. Get two letter envelopes. Trim the 
ends and bottom of one which leaves only the front and flap together. Insert this inside the other envelope. 
Between the flaps drop the letters you have selected, separating and spreading them so as not to make the 
envelope noticeably bulky. Lastly seal the flaps together. A secret compartment has thus been made. 

Routine: The first spectator makes his small grab from the bowl. From your inside pocket you remove the 
envelope. The letters are dropped in, you seal it and the spectator keeps the envelope for the time being. Taking 
the pad from the same pocket it is handed to someone for the writing of three figures. He passes it to another, 
and he does likewise. Taking the pad you start towards the front, tear off the back (unused) page and give it to 
someone for the adding. No matter which side the first person has started writing upon, the other side, when torn 
off and given a spectator, bears the desired problem. This subterfuge which gives freedom in handling is credited 
to Dave Allison. 

During the addition process, the paper is given out and the slate, with flap, picked up. On its unprepared side is 
written the figures of the total together with the page, column, line, word designations. The man with the paper 
looks up the word and scores it. 

The rest of this action must be followed closely, for soon an impression must be created that the performer is 
slightly bewildered. The magician lays down the slate, flap side UP, and steps to the man with the envelope. 
"Have you been guarding those letters you picked?" he asks. He takes the envelope, tears off the end, and dumps 
the contents into the spectator's hands. Of course, the envelope is pinched open to allow of only those letters in 
the rear compartment leaving. "Call them out to us," says the performer as he goes back to the front and picks up 
the slate. He has crumpled up and taken the envelope with him, dropping it on the table as the slate is retrieved. 

The letters as called out are written on the flap in their jumbled order. Almost always a few of the spectators, 
upon hearing the word called, will see that the letters are there though mixed. At this point you turn the slate over 
and ask the spectator if he has the right spot in the paper according to the figures. He says "Yes" and you lay 
down the slate again, but this time with flap side down, and approach him to get a quick glance at the word. 

Light now seems to dawn and you explain that you had the letters but in the wrong sequence. Ask the man with 
the letters to stand and pick them out correctly, calling each one aloud. While he does this you reapproach the 

front, pick up the slate carelessly and appear to be checking the letters as named. The flap has been left behind. 
Next, and last, call upon the powers of darkness and evil to make good what they have made wrong. Then turn 
the slate to show the word in correct lettering. 

More often than not the audience figures that the spectator with the letters has done his part wrong by his reading 
them off in an incorrect order. Then you apparently step into the breach and save the day by a bit of magical 
prowess in the rearrangement. 


Here's a worthwhile tip for those who have painted metal slates which are smooth and don’t take chalk very well. 
Don’t try sandpaper. Just put a spoonful of Dutch Cleanser or Babbo, etc., on the surface and then scour with a 
damp cloth. Paint will come off but it gives a new roughened side which takes chalk as it should be taken. 



The following effect, which is a combination mental routine and conjuring, was one of Ted Annemann’s 
favorites. You will find it clean cut and direct and injected throughout the routine are a number of clever 
subtleties that are baffling to the layman and confounding to magicians. 

Effect: The performer borrows two dollar bills and has them folded and inserted in two pay envelopes. One of 
the audience is selected as the subject and takes the envelopes, mixes them and selects one. The performer asks 
him to open the envelope and look at the number on the bill. As soon as he begins to concentrate on the number, 
the performer reads his mind and calls out the number. 

The subject now opens the second envelope and reads aloud the number on the other bill. This bill is sealed in 
another envelope which is burned. While it is still burning, the performer reaches into his pocket and brings forth 
a small metal box which is locked with a combination lock. This box is handed to the person who had loaned the 
bill. By now the bill and the envelope have been reduced to ashes, and the performer announces that he intends 
to restore the bill and have it pass into the box which is being held up in view of everyone. He removes a card 
and reads off the combination of the lock, and the person with the box opens the lock, lifts the lid of the box and 
finds the bill intact. 

Preparation: Obtain five new dollar bills, with numbers running consecutively, from one bank. Also another set 
of five bills from a second bank. Now select two bills from each set of five, and erase the last figure of the 
number on each bill. This leaves you with two pairs of bills, each pair of which are duplicates. 

Next soak these four bills in wine for an hour or so. While they arc still wet, crumple them a bit and then dry 
them between sheets of newspaper under pressure. When dry, these bills will be just about half way between 
new and old ones in texture. 

You will also need two metal boxes with hinged lids. These boxes should be about the size of 
a pack of cards, and the lids are secured in each case with a combination lock for which a key 
is not necessary. Two cards, bearing the combination for the locks will also be needed, as well as a packet 
of drug size envelopes, one of which has a slit in its face. 

Take the first pair of duplicate bills, insert one in a drug envelope, and fold the other, once the long way and 
twice the short way, with the green side out. Place this folded bill in your left trouser pocket. The envelope with 
the duplicate bill sealed therein is placed in one of the metal boxes, the lid closed, locked and the box placed in 
your left hip pocket. Follow the same procedure with the second pair of bills, but fold one of these bills with the 
black side out. Place this bill in your right coat pocket, and its duplicate in an envelope goes into the second 
metal box which is locked and placed in your right hip pocket. With each box goes the card bearing the lock's 
combination, and in each pocket with the folded bills is placed a drug envelope. Place the slit envelope in your 
left coat pocket. 

Lastly, but most important, memorize the numbers on the two bills. Of write the numbers in ink on your two 
thumb nails. 

Routine: Ask for a bill, "Perhaps $100, maybe $50, how about (20 please, $10 or $5," and compromise on $1 
with the remark, "You can't blame the lender as he undoubtedly has seen magicians before." The spectator folds 
his bill according to instructions, and at the same time you place your left hand in your left trouser pocket and 
palm the green bill, if that's the way the spectator is folding his; otherwise you palm the other bill from your right 
pocket with your right hand. Just watch the spectator carefully, you'll have plenty of time to get the bill matching 

The folded bill is taken from the lender and switched for your palmed bill, as explained in "Dollar Bill Switch" 
page 216. As the switch is made, gesture towards your left and ask another person to stand. Without mentioning 
the word "bill", remark that it is important this second party keep everything in view for the rest of the audience 
to see. It's this psychology that tends to make the audience feel that you are doing the same. Your right hand, or 
left, as the case may be, goes to the pocket from which you palmed the dummy, leaves the spectator's bill and 
comes out with the drug envelope. Present the dummy bill with one hand and the envelope with the other to the 
person standing, requesting him to seal the bill in the envelope. While he does so, you immediately turn to the 
audience and request a second bill, saying, "After all, two can grieve better than one — when they have something 
in common. " 

While obtaining this second bill, you palm the other dummy. Receiving the second bill, you fold it yourself with 
the proper side out, switch it and hold the dummy up in view. Reach into your pocket, deposit the spectator's bill 
and bring out the other drug envelope. Have the person who is standing, seal this second dummy in the second 
envelope and mix the envelopes. He is then told to step to a far corner of the room, or the auditorium, and put 
one of the envelopes in his pocket. 

As he does so, explain to the audience, "Two of you have loaned me dollar bills with which I shall conjure, both 
mentally and physically. The first test will be mental". Turn and point to the man in the far corner, saying, "Do 
you want to exchange the envelope now — or do you wish to keep the one you have selected by yourself?" 

Whatever this spectator does, it matters not. You tell him to open the envelope of his choice, remove the bill and 
look at the number on it. Remark to the audience, "Maybe it's a ransom note. The fact that every government bill 
has a different number running into the millions makes possible a lot of arrests and convictions" — turning to 
both the lenders — "I am sure you aren't giving ME that kind of currency?" 

Addressing the man in the comer, say, "Think of the first figure on that bill you have selected." Put your fingers 
to your forehead, pretend to concentrate and say, "It's a ..." Here you name the first figure of either bill, both of 
which you know — either from memory or from a glimpse of your thumb nails. If the spectator says, "Yes", you 
know you are on the right bill and continue throughout correctly. If the spectator says, "No", you say, "Try the 
last figure, (pause) It's a The answer to this must be "Yes" for you have named the last figure of the 

number on the other bill. At hearing "Yes" to this maneuver, shrug your shoulders and say, "I'm going 
backwards, that's all. At times when you look into a stranger's mind, you get a reversed impression. It’s like 
looking into a mirror." Then continue revealing the number backwards to a climax." 

At this point, Annemann usually stopped all applause for he believed this move on his part was very effective 
(editor's note). Call the person with the bill back to the stage, relieve him of the bill and pass it back to the 
lender, saying, "It may be yours or his" — pointing to the other lender — "but a dollar is a dollar, and what do you 
think I am, a psychic? Reading minds is difficult enough." 

"There's one bill left," you continue addressing the man with the envelope. "Open the envelope, take it out 
please, and read the number on it out loud." Then turn and address the owner of this second bill, saying, "Listen 
carefully to the number, for this is your bill, the one you're going to get back." The number is read and you 
repeat each number as it is called. Don't tell anyone else to listen, they will. While they won't remember each and 
every figure, the audience as a whole will get the swing of it and realize that it is the same number when they 
hear it read later. Each individual gets a portion of the number. Together they make an error improbable of being 
accepted, and combined they give you acclaim. 

During this, take out of your pocket another drug envelope with the well-known slit in its back. The second bill 
(dummy) is insetted in this envelope and out through the slit into your palm. Deposit this palmed bill in your 
pocket as you reach for a box of matches. Ignite the envelope and hand it to the assisting spectator who will 
struggle with it for a minute or two and then will let go of it. "You shouldn't be so careful," you say, "it never 
was your bill. Why burn yourself for someone else's money?" 

During this burning, pull from the correct pocket the box containing the duplicate of the bill you have apparently 
just burned. Hold the box on your outstretched palm as the audience enjoys the comedy of the burning envelope. 
"Look", you say, "Here's a sort of tin box. There have been politicians who kept money in such places. Now, 
politicians are said to have all the money that's loose. Therefore, all money burned up in the public interest, and 
I'm here in your interest — as an entertainer — should gravitate to the tin box." "You have spent the cash," you say 
to the assistant who has just burned his fingers, "and that's about all you can do. Thank you for playing a villain's 
part." You thus dismiss your assistant, and then turn to the lender of the second bill, saying, "And you, sir, take 
the box and stand so all can see a taxpayer coming into his own." 

Reach into your pocket, the same one from which you took the box, bring forth the combination card and say, 
"That's a combination lock. I'll read you the turns, and you'll have the satisfaction of getting back what you 

gave out for no good reason." The spectator opens the lock, lifts the lid and finds the envelope. He removes it, 
tears it open and finds his bill inside. You then ask him to read aloud the number on the bill. 

Conclude the effect by saying, "I didn't mean to inject any political talk with this test. Please excuse me for 
wandering from my theme. In my enthusiasm, I unconsciously saw what I talked about. Actually, I wanted only 
to show you the difference between a mindreader and a magician. I'll leave it up to you to decide whether I'm a 
better mindreader than a magician, or vice versa." 



If ever there was an impromptu mental novelty, this should be it. Borrow a derby or soft hat. Say that you'll show 
a test of clairvoyance and telepathy combined. Ask for the loan of seven or eight one dollar bills. However, 
before starting to collect them, step up to one volunteer and ask him to write his name in pencil on his bill so as 
to identify it later. Ask him to fold it over and over until it is in a small flat square. At the same time have the rest 
of the donors do the same. While the key subject is writing and folding, you can pick up one or two of the other 
bills that are ready. Collect them with your right hand and drop them into the hat which you are holding in your 

left hand. When you take the marked bill, pretend to put it with the rest, but slip it under the fingers of your left 
hand inside the hat, and then collect the rest. 

Hand the hat to a spectator who stands at the other side of the room. The left fingers keep hold of the stolen bill. 
Don't try to palm anything. Just keep it in the fingers and let the left hand be natural and out of direct use. Don't 
stall around but keep moving at this point. Walk away to a far corner. Tell the man with the hat to pick out a bill 
while your back is turned, hold it up, and say, "All right". You turn your back. When the spectator speaks, say, 
"Put it on the table, and take another." Next time you say, "No, still not right, put it aside and try again." In the 
meantime you have been standing with your back turned and have gestured with your right hand. The left, 
however, has opened the stolen bill and you note the number and refold it. You'll find when you try this that you 
have more time than you think. Also you may think it hard to remember the number but if you'll try this first 
before saying you can't, you'll be surprised. If you are familiar with mnemonics use it here. On the third or fourth 
pick, stop the selector and say, "That's it." Walk over to him and take the bill he holds with your right hand. 
Without a pause, walk to the one who signed the bill. When almost to him, pretend to pass the bill to your left 
hand, actually palming it in your right hand and bringing the marked bill into view at the tips of the left fingers. 
Hand the marked bill to its owner, and return to your position beside the hat. Ask him to open the bill and see if 
it is his. It is! 

Now take the hat from the person who has been assisting you, and set it on the table. As you lay it down, drop 
the palmed bill into it from your right hand. 

Return to the person holding the marked bill and ask him to open it and look at the number. For your climax, 
announce the number slowly and deliberately. Then ask the owners of the other bills to raise their hands so that 
you may return the borrowed bills. 

You will find that it will help a bit in handling the marked bill if you borrow one that is rather well used. 



Dollar bills arc always of interest to an audience. This original exchange, which is the last word in constant 
visibility, can be used for any number of tricks which require substitution either for another bill, or for a dummy 
duplicate bill. 

First we shall describe the switch, and then attempt to "hint" and per- 

haps "build" upon the reader's imagination as to its possibilities. Sketch No. 1 shows how the dummy bill is to be 
folded, i.e.: first the long way, then twice to make a packet 1 1/2" x 1 1/4" in size. The No. 1 sketch is shown in 
the position, as to its folding, by which it is finger palmed in sketch No. 2. This is important. 

We shall suppose, right off, that you have the bill finger palmed as described. The borrowed bill is folded once 
the long way and twice the opposite way. You take it in the right fingers. The left thumb helps in letting the 
palmed bill spring open, and the finger tips of both hands come together as if to further crease the bill just 
received. The right hand bill, the borrowed one, is deliberately pushed into the open folds of the left hand 
dummy bill; 

the right thumb and fingers grasp both bills at their near edge and the left hand moves away with the palm 
obviously empty. 

It is now absolutely impossible, from any angle, to recognize more than a single bill in the right hand. The right 
thumb now moves back just enough to let the outside fold snap open a bit through its own resiliency, and then 

rests the ball of the thumb on the inside borrowed bill. At this position the inside bill, still folded, is ready to be 
drawn back into a finger palm and to leave the dummy alone in view. Note also that the two bills, the outside one 
open and the inside one folded, may be transferred to the left fingers, and the borrowed bill palmed by that hand. 
It all depends which of your hands is more naturally proficient, the switch being a "7-11" either way. 

As will be seen, this switch is ideal for any number of tricks, and may be used with paper billets just as readily. 
So far as the bill is concerned, let us mention right here that a safety factor which is imperative when the 
spectator folds the bill ( and that should be allowed and encouraged as often as possible) is to have two dummy 
bills ready, one folded green side out and the other black side out. 

In a great many instances, the switch will be used merely to leave a bill in sight for a few minutes while the 
borrowed bill is inserted in a prepared envelope, wallet, etc. The receptacle being left with the owner of the 
original bill while the duplicate is vanished by whatever means you like. The bill, when first borrowed, is 
initialed by the lender and subsequently exchanged for a duplicate which is retained for a while by another 
spectator, or in his closed hand, in order that any slight difference in wear and tear may not be noticed. 



Effect: The performer asks a spectator to take a dollar bill from his pocket, note whether the number on the bill 
is odd or even, and then to cover the numbers with his thumbs. The performer, places his finger tips on the 
spectator's forehead and correctly divines whether the number was odd or even. 

Secret: The secret on which this is based is very old, but still is little known today. Examine a dollar bill and you 
will find on its face a minute letter in the upper left and lower right sections. These letters run from A upwards 
through the alphabet and they are the key to the whole stunt. They designate whether the bill is odd or even in 
the following manner. A is odd, B is even, C is odd. D is even, etc. To do the trick as baldly as this is but to 
present a puzzle. But see what happens when you apply the original Hardin technique. 

Presentation: Anyone takes a dollar bill from his pocket. He is asked to note whether the number is odd or even. 
Then he places his right and left thumbs over the two numbers on each side of the face of the bill. The performer 
approaches him, deliberately places his left hand down over the spectator's thumbs and bill, puts his right fingers 
against the spectator's forehead and says, "Odd, even, odd, even, etc." After a few more studied and thoughtful 
repetitions, he declares, "It's even", or "It's odd", as the case may be. All he has to do, of course, is to note the 
key letter. 

In short, Hardin's presentation is a case of mind reading rather than a trick with a bill. The dollar just ceases to 
exist after serving its purpose to provide one of two thoughts. The placing of the performer's left hand gave him 
just that split second's time to glimpse the letter, and the repeating of the two words, while his right fingers 
played against the spectator's forehead, let him count in the alphabet to the proper designation. 



Effect: This is a mental coin effect based on a mathematical system. On the table are three small coin envelopes 
labeled respectively: Office Boy, Janitor, President. Also there are five different coins: a penny, nickel, dime, 
quarter, and half dollar. 

Three spectators are asked to participate and each is given a small typewritten sheet or card called a "Salary 
Schedule". While the performer's back is turned, one of the three men picks up the three employee envelopes, 
mixes them well, selects any one for himself, and passes the other two on to a second man. This person mixes 
the two remaining envelopes, selects either one, and hands the third envelope to the third spectator. 

Each man reads the label on his envelope and sees what employee he is to be. Then he reads his salary schedule 
and sees which coin that employee is to receive. Each of the three men puts into his envelope the coin designated 
in the schedule. The envelopes are pocketed or held out of sight, and the performer turns around and faces the 

He takes from his pocket a fourth envelope labeled "Income Tax," and into it he puts the two remaining coins. 
Pocketing this envelope he looks at each of the three men and tells what job he holds and how much money is in 
his pay envelope. 

Routine: As I have said, the method is mathematical. The three salary schedules are all different, as will be 
noted from the table here: 




President .... 

....10c President .... 

....25c President .... 


Office Boy ... 

....10c Office Boy ... 

....5c Office Boy ... 

.... 5c 


.... 1C Janitor 

.... lc Janitor 


These are passed out writing sides down, so no man knows what the cards of his neighbors say. The performer 
must remember to which man each of the schedules goes. Because of the system involved, the two coins left on 
the table, after the three coins have been put into the envelopes, tell the story. 

And the rest of the trick is a table written upon the back of the "Income Tax" envelope. This table is secretly 
referred to while placing the two remaining coins into the tax envelope. Here is the table: 















30. ... 















lc 5c 















To read the table add the value of the two coins left and read from this total in the first column. Reading across 
from this total you find the offices and the salaries held by the holders of schedules #1, #2, and #3. 



This is one of those mysteries, in which the astute performer will see at once the possibilities for a veritable 
miracle. It almost can be made into a challenge effect and has practically no explanation. 

Five coins are shown and examined. Four of them are United States nickels and the fifth is a Canadian nickel or 
five cent piece. They are sealed in borrowed envelopes which the performer never has seen or touched. After 
mixing, they are handed to the performer, one at a time, behind his back. He correctly divines the location of the 
Canadian nickel among the rest while the sharpest eyes can be watching the procedure. 

The secret is quite astonishing. It just so happens that Canadian five cent pieces are magnetic, while those of 
United States coinage are not. In that fact lies the secret. Under your coat, and hanging from the back of your 
shirt or vest, is as strong a magnet as can be obtained and carried. The envelopes containing the nickels are 
applied to the magnet behind your back as they are received, and there is no difficulty in ascertaining the 
location of the Canadian coin as that envelope will sway towards the magnet. The envelopes should be held by 
one corner so the coin drops to the bottom. 

Mr. James obtained a real heavy magnet bar from a flour mill, one of those used in the chutes to catch any 
metallic substances before they pass through the rollers. A very good magnet for this effect may be obtained 
from a slot machine repair man. The magnet used in the "one armed bandit" type is only about two inches long 
and can be concealed easily in your hand. They are used in the machines to stop iron and steel slugs. 

The readers who can see in this principle good possibilities for a master pocket and publicity trick will no doubt 
devise their own method of handling and concealing the magnet. 

The fact that both the envelopes and coins are totally unprepared and are handled freely by the spectators is what 
makes this a challenge trick that can't be duplicated. 



This effect may well follow Stewart James' "Numismatigic", thus you may immediately repeat the trick but by 
an entirely different method of handling. 

Effect: Five nickels, 4 American and 1 Canadian, are placed secretly in a small cardboard slide which in turn is 
hidden in two envelopes. Despite these precautions, the performer can always name the slot occupied by the 
Canadian coin. Everything may be examined and furthermore, the two envelopes employed positively preclude 
any possibility of the performer catching a glimpse of the coins. 

Preparation: In a piece of rather heavy cardboard, about 2x7 inches, cut out five holes just large enough to hold 
five nickels. Paste a piece of heavy paper over the bottom of the cardboard and label the holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 

Next make a paper envelope to fit over the card with its opening on the right end. Place this envelope over the 
cardboard slide and number the envelope with large numerals, 1 to 5, corresponding with the numbered holes in 
the slide. Remove this envelope. Also make another envelope, large enough to slide easily over the first 
envelope, but with the opening at the left end. Number this envelope in the same way as the first envelope, but 
starting with the numeral 1 nearest the open end. 

Secure a small piece of Alnico magnet. The base of one of the novelty magnetic Pups is just the thing from 
which to saw off a piece about a quarter inch long. Have this piece in one of your pockets where it may be 
secured easily, or keep it in the pocket with the nickels where it will adhere to the Canadian nickel. 

Routine: Bring out the handful of coins with your left hand. Pick out the nickels and drop 
them, one by one, into a spectators hand for his in- spection. As you do this you retain the magnet in 
your left hand, ready for use. Explain that for the purpose of the test one coin must be different from the rest, and 
so you are substituting a Canadian nickel for one of the American coins. 

Next hand out the cardboard slide together with the envelopes. Turn your back and ask the person with the coins 
to put one in each of the holes in the card. When he says he has done so, remind him to make note of which hole 
the Canadian coin occupies. Another person now takes the coin slide and. holding it so that the coins cannot fall 
out, pushes it into the first envelope. He is asked to be careful that the numbering on the outside of the envelope 
corresponds with the numbered holes in which the coins are arranged. 

A third person now encloses the package with the second envelope, which goes on in the opposite direction, but 
making certain that the numbers correspond with the numbers on the first envelope. 

You explain that this use of two envelopes, opening at opposite ends, prevents any possibility of the coins being 
seen. Now turn around and take the envelope package with your right hand. The magnet, you remember, is 
finger palmed in your left hand. Transfer the package to your left hand with a sort of sliding motion which 
immediately attracts the magnet to the bottom of the envelope directly under the spot occupied by the Canadian 
nickel. You needn't have any fear of the magnet falling off, it will stay there. Grasp the left end of the package 
with your left thumb and first finger, and hold it flatwise towards the audience with the numbers being right side 
up. The fingers of the right hand, kept open to let the hands be seen empty, are passed back and forth in front 
(audience side) of the envelope. Keep the fingers at least two inches away. Don't let an impression be given that 
there is any "feel" necessary. Then grasp the right end of the package with the right thumb and forefinger, while 
the left hand goes back and forth, also obviously empty. 

It is this freedom of movement and obvious absence of gimmicks that impresses the audience. Through all these 
movements, the magnet clings to the back (your side) of the package. Now announce the number under which 
the Canadian nickel is secreted. 

As the first person acknowledges that you arc correct, you hand the package to one of the spectators to verify 
your assertion. In doing so, drop the package backwards into your left curled fingers and, as it is pulled away 
from your hand, the magnet is disengaged and finger palmed in your left hand. While the package is being 
opened and examined you can pocket the magnet 



A number of coins are collected in a borrowed hat which is set, crown down, on the table. Announcing the date 
of a coin, the performer reaches into the hat and brings forth a coin which he immediately passes for inspection. 
It bears the date he named! He repeats with the others. One advantage of this method is that no extra coin is 
used, and another is the fact that the spectators may note the dates on their own coins before dropping them into 
the hat. Thus each may claim his coin immediately its date is read. 

It is necessary that the wizard perform some feat requiring the loan of a half-dollar at some time earlier in his 
program. Pretending to give it back, he must substitute a half-dollar of his own, prepared by rubbing it 
previously (on either side or in the milling) with a piece of soap. By not allowing too much soap to collect on the 
coin, its presence never will be suspected. In borrowing a number of coins for the experiment to be explained, 
the performer must make certain that this prepared coin is included among those collected in the hat. The first 
date he names is that on the prepared coin! 

Reaching into the hat standing on the table behind his back, the performer will find it very easy to distinguish the 
soaped coin from the others. It has a soft or greasy touch that cannot be mistaken when one is feeling for it. 
Securing it, the performer at the same time picks up another one of the coins between the first and second finger 
tips and. by bending the fingers inward, lodges it in the crotch of the thumb. It is easy to tell by sense of touch 
where the date is on the half-dollar. On the older coins, the stars on the "tails" side have a feel possessed by no 
other portion of the coin's surface. On the newer ones, the waist of the figure on the "tails" side is a good 
distinguishing sign. 

In bringing the hand forward with the soaped coin held plainly in view at the finger tips, it is a fairly simple 
matter to read the date of the second coin which you have thumb palmed. The prepared coin is given to the 
owner (?) and the performer reaches into the hat for another. This time the one just glimpsed is named and a 
third coin concealed in the thumb crotch to be read as the hand is held forward. In a similar manner each date is 
read up to and including the last. 



In this day and age, when publicity is freely given to those who apparently can see through all sorts of 
blindfolds, etc., this old trick should be an excellent impromptu test. Argamasilla, the Spanish nobleman who 
confounded New York critics for a short time with his reputed ability to see through metals, could have used this 
stunt to good advantage for press interviews. 

Effect: Two people note the dates on their own half dollars and then place the date sides of the two coins face to 
face. The performer holds them in that condition at the tips of his left fingers, rubs them with his right palm, and 
then takes them with his right finger tips and mbs them with his left palm. Again taking them with his left finger 
tips, they are passed back to the owners, still with the date sides face to face. Everything seems absolutely fair, 
yet the performer is now able to name correctly the date on each of the borrowed coins. 

Routine: Though simple, the effect is exceedingly impressive. It all lies in a subtle exchange and re-exchange of 
one coin. Have an extra half dollar in the right palm with its date side away from the palm. Take the two 

borrowed coins by their edges between the left thumb and finger tips which are bunched in a circle about the 
coins. The right hand, in stroking the upper coin, silently leaves the extra palmed coin on top of it. At the same 
instant the left fingers allow the borrowed coin on the bottom to fall into the left palm, date side up, where it can 
easily be read. Nothing seems changed, as two coins are still visible at the finger tips, upper one date side down. 
The right hand rubs them, and then takes them from above by the finger tips, exactly as the left hand held them. 
Turning the right hand over, the date of the former upper borrowed coin is exposed. Now the left hand in nibbing 
them leaves the borrowed coin on top, date side down, and the performer's coin falls into his right palm. The left 
hand again takes the coins and returns them to the company in the very same position as when received. The 
right hand pockets the extra coin as the performer reveals the two hidden dates in as impressive a manner and 
with as much dramatization as possible. 



Here is a most unusual test that requires no preparation and may be introduced into your program at any time. It 
is one of those mental tests that can be done before any sized audience, yet is just as effective when presented for 
a single person. Professional performers know how rare such an effect is and how hard it is to find one. 

Effect: The performer borrows a deck of cards and states that he is about to do a test that should not be confused 
with card tricks or sleight-of-hand. It will be left to the audience as to what senses are employed by the 
performer in gaining his subsequent knowledge. The working of the effect is so clean, and obviously free of 
trickery, that this point being stressed at the start will emphasize it and will be remembered afterwards. 

One person is chosen, always a man, and shuffling the deck of cards, the performer has three taken and placed by 
the assistant in his pocket. The assistant is cautioned against peeking at the cards at this time in order to guard 
against the possibility of the performer reading his mind. (After all, this is a test of par-optic vision, not of 

The performer now allows the assistant to blindfold him and to lead him to a distance of 30 or 40 feet, turning 
him so that when the action starts he will have his back turned towards the assistant. When set, the performer 
says, "Reach into your pocket and draw out a card." The spectator does so. The performer names the card. "Drop 
it," says the performer, "and take out another." This is done, and again the performer names it! "There is only 
one of them left, isn't there?" remarks the performer. The spectator acknowledges this display of astuteness. 
"Don't take it out," cautions the man with the many eyes. Then slowly, but accurately, this master mind calls the 
color, suit and value of the card still in the spectator's pocket! 

Routine: This is an effect that's all effect. The three cards taken by the assistant and placed in his pocket are 
forced. It is important, however, that the first and third force card should be of the same color but of different 
suits; while the middle card is of opposite color. 

Once the assistant has them in his pocket with the backs of the cards outwards, and in the 
known order, it is up to you to then direct him to produce them in the same order. Nine times 
out of ten, he will withdraw the cards by grasping the outside one first, the middle one next (it 
never misses being second) and that's exactly what you want him to do. By keying your patter and hurrying 
the man up when he is producing the cards, he will usually follow the line of least resistance and withdraw the 
cards just as you wish. 

We have now reached the point where you are blindfolded and are standing at a distance from the assistant. 
When set, you ask him to put his hand in his pocket quickly and withdraw but one card. If he has reacted as you 
expect, he will now be holding the first or outermost card and you are ready to tell him what card it is. You do 
so, as follows, which allows you considerable leeway and guarantees that you will name it correctly. 

Name the color first, followed by the suit, to double-check. If it isn't the color you name, then, of course, you 
know it's the middle card and so call it. If it isn't the suit, then you know it's the other card of the same color, and 
so name it. Thanks to your set up of the force cards, you can't miss by following this method of elimination, 
although the audience do not realize you are "pumping" information. 

As I mentioned before, the middle card never misses being the second one withdrawn. The third card, which is 
left in the pocket, you know without any trouble, so it's up to you to make the most of it and build up the effect 
for all it’s worth! 

Note: Sometimes you will run up against one man who will withdraw the cards in reverse order. This rare 
specimen will invariably keep on the way he has started. 

A simple and direct force with a borrowed pack is to reverse the three force cards on the bottom of the deck. 
Now give the deck a dovetail shuffle without disturbing or flashing these three cards. Next explain to the 
assistant, as you lay the deck backs up on your left hand, that three cards are to be selected without either of you 
seeing what they are. Put your left hand behind your back and ask him to reach behind you and, with his left 
hand, cut off a bunch of cards. He does so, although he can’t see what he’s doing, as you are both facing front. As 
he brings them out in front, you say, "You know how impossible it is for me to know how many you have cut 
off. Now reach back again and take the next three cards for yourself and place them in your pocket without 
looking at them." During this interim, you have turned the deck over and he gets the three force cards. As soon 
as he has them, you right the deck, bring it forward and drop it on the table. The whole maneuver is executed 
with one hand and there isn’t a bit of lost motion. 

So much for the impromptu method. On the other hand, if you are using your own deck then any number of 
subterfuges are open to you. You can use a stacked deck, either the "Eight Kings" or "Si Stebbins." With such a 
set up, after the three cards are taken in a bunch, all you have to do is glimpse the bottom card of the pack, as 
you lay it down, and you're all set — for the three selected cards all follow this "key card" in the stacked 

For a possible repeat performance at a later date, and for those who don't want to touch the deck after the 
selections, one can use a three kind alternating force deck with every third card wide and long. This is made by 
cutting all other cards short and narrow. False shuffle and cut. Put the deck on the table and have the assistant cut 
off a bunch and then take the next three cards and place them in his pocket. 



Burling Hull brought out the original of this effect, and subsequently I revamped some of the details to make it 
even more effective. 

Effect: As it stands now, this is the effect. Not more than twenty drug envelopes and cards are distributed 
together with pencils of the bridge scoring type. In the corner of each envelope is a large and heavy figure ( 1 
through 20) of the gummed type sold by stationery stores. These numerals can be seen easily at quite some 
distance. Now questions, names, sentences, numbers, etc., are written on the cards which are then sealed in the 

A spectator collects them and comes forward to assist with the test. The medium is introduced, seated in a chair, 
blindfolded and covered with a sheet. 

The assisting spectator mixes the envelopes and hands one to the performer, calling its number as he does so. 
The performer holds it against the medium's forehead and she immediately reveals its contents. This is continued 

until all the envelopes have been read. The medium is uncovered, and the assistant takes the unopened envelopes 
into the audience and returns them. 


Preparation: Probably the most important factor in this presentation is never seen, which is 
as it should be. The modern dealer's catalogs seem to have lost sight of one of the most 
valuable accessories in magic. It's the old deck changing servante to be attached to the back of 
a chair. A five-inch bag hangs from a metal band and above this, against the chair back is a 
clip which holds a pack of cards laying on its side. Let us say that the clip holds an arranged 

pack. The performer has a shuffled deck in his right hand. He needs a chair for the trick, or 
wishes to move one out of the way. He moves it by grasping the top of the chair's back with 
his right hand (the one containing the shuffled deck), while the left hand takes hold of the 
chair's seat. Or if it is a light chair, he may move it with his right hand alone. Regardless, the 
deck in his right hand has been dropped into the servante bag, and the clipped deck is brought forward 
as the right hand leaves the chair. 

Having obtained or built one of these silent servantes, cut a slit across the bottom of the bag and sew a zipper 
along the slit. These zippers can be obtained in department stores, etc. 

In our case we're going to put something of value INTO the servante instead of taking it away, and we're going 
to use a packet of No. 2 size drug envelopes instead of a deck of cards. 

The envelopes should be white. The numbers should be placed in one corner for an important reason. A dummy 
set of envelopes are made up and blank cards sealed inside. This set can be used a number of times until they 
become soiled. Another set of envelopes is prepared and ready with cards and pencils. The cards are of good 
quality bristol board and the pencils are of the No. 2 (or softer) lead type. 

The sheet used is opaque insofar as seeing movements through it, but it is white and of the bed sheet type which 
lets light through it. The medium has a good pocket flashlight on her person, and should test it before each 

Routine: The medium is not in view when the effect begins. The performer passes out the writing material 
himself and returns to the front. A spectator is chosen to collect the sealed envelopes. As he comes forward the 
performer takes them and stands the assistant to one side. 

Introducing the medium the performer steps to the chair, upon the seat of which is the sheet, and upon the back 
of which is the servante with the dummy set in the clip. He moves the chair forward a foot or so and the medium 
is seated. The package of envelopes has been exchanged. 

While the medium sits holding the sheet, the performer explains that she will assume a clairvoyant condition and 
attempt to attune herself with members of the audience. As he talks he hands the (dummies) envelopes to the 
spectator for mixing. While this is being done the performer stands before the medium, opens the sheet out and 
drops it over her. As the sheet is opened out the medium sits back and upright in the chair, reaches both hands 
around behind it and secures the original envelopes from beneath the bag. This action is completed while the 
performer adjusts the sheet by stepping around behind and pulling it well over into place and. at the same time, 
closes the zipper in the bag himself. 

By this time the medium has the flashlight in her lap and has started sorting the envelopes into three or four 
piles. She has also slumped in the chair, which gives her more lap space and, as the sheet covers her from knees 
to head, she can work quite unhampered. 

The performer has innocently stalled for a few seconds while the spectator completes his 
mixing of the envelopes and finally picks one, calling out the number on it. The performer 
takes it and asks for that person's acknowledgment. Then he approaches the medium and 
holds it against her forehead with the number towards the audience. This has given her ample 
opportunity to pick out the correct envelope, lay it on top of her flashlight lens and turn on the 
light. She reveals the information as she reads it through the envelope! There is no need to 
worry about the flashlight being seen, if the medium is careful not to turn it on when there is 
no envelope on top of it. If she is seated as near bright lights as possible, they will help cover any 
accidental flash. 

The action continues until the next to the last envelope is reached. The medium gets this as soon as she hears the 
number, and also the next one as soon as possible, for it is the last. She starts on the last and says it is none too 
clear as her power is weakening. Under the cloth she has concealed the light and squared up the packet of 
envelopes. She moves restlessly as she talks and, as she turns a little in the chair to arise — still under the sheet, 
deposits the packet of envelopes in the servante clip. 

The performer has kept all the answered envelopes (dummies) in his left hand during the procedure, and now 
transfers them to his right hand. The medium stands and the performer moves the chair back, again making the 
exchange. The sheet is removed. The performer thanks the assistant from the audience, and hands him the bunch 
of original envelopes for redistribution to their owners, who may want to inspect them. 



This is one of those effects that can be built into feature proportions due to its many possibilities for spectacular 

It is strictly a one man stunt and needs practically no apparatus or preparation. I say again, and make it emphatic, 
that the secret is subtle and never suspected by the audience, because it all takes place right before their eyes and 
in a very natural manner. 

Effect: On platform, stage, or at the front of room is a blackboard facing the audience. Chalk and eraser are at 
hand. The performer states that he will attempt a most difficult test of telepathy and will need the assistance of 
three people from his audience. They come forward and stand near the blackboard. Follow this in your mind and 
you will realize the effect of the set up on the audience. 

The performer takes a heavy piece of silk or a handkerchief and says that he will be blindfolded and led to a 
corner of the stage. Each one of the committee is then to write on the blackboard. One is to write a number of 
three figures, another is to write a word of not less than seven letters, and the last is to draw the first geometrical 
diagram that comes to his mind. The performer states that in this way, he will have covered all means of 
expressing oneself in writing, figures, letters and lines. 

The performer is now blindfolded and led to a corner of the stage. The committee is then asked to draw the 
picture, and write the figures and the word. When they announce that they have finished, the performer asks the 
audience to remember what the committee is thinking of. Never tell them to remember what is on the 

The performer now tells them to erase the blackboard, and to lead him to it and give him a piece of chalk. Taking 
it, the performer, still blindfolded, makes a few marks and finally writes the number as best he can. This is 
followed by the correct word and finally the picture. This is the point where the performer can make or break the 

Preparation: I know that this must sound difficult but it is far from being so! In the first 
place, although you stand as per diagram with back turned towards the committee, the blindfold is 
faked in your favorite way as long as you can see straight ahead. I sincerely advise the old folded handkerchief 
as the best. 

It is simple and looks like just what it is — a handkerchief. I never did like the tricky looking blindfolds that are 
obviously made up for that purpose. Use a large size man's handkerchief. Have it folded over and over from 
opposite corners until the rolls meet at the center. Now fold and put it in your pocket. When it is on, you can see 
through the one thickness and that is the point. 




_ blackboard 


Routine: Stand in your comer and direct the proceedings up to the point where you ask the audience to 
remember what the committee is thinking of. Then waving your hand back towards blackboard, say, "Now 
gentlemen, erase the blackboard and leave it clean so that there is no trace of what you have placed there." As 
this gesture is made, you swing half around and in a flash you have the information you need! You swing right 
back into position, but for a split second you have gestured as you talked and did what any natural person would 
have done. Therefore, I'll guarantee that no one will ever notice your actions. Besides, they are used to you being 
turned away from blackboard and they know you are blindfolded. Besides that, they don't know yet exactly what 
you are going to do. 

Now the committee comes over to you and leads you to blackboard. I advise that you close your eyes the 
moment you have seen what you want, and don't open them again for any reason. You won’t need them anymore, 
and you will act more like a blindfolded person as you are lead back and when you do your writing. Just write as 
best you can. You will be legible enough. Remember, keep your eyes closed, you can’t help but do it right. 

I suggest that you write two of the items, the number and the word, and then stop. Take off the blindfold, remark 
that for the picture test you would like to have the committee at a distance, and send them back to their seats. 
Now make the drawing, have one of the committee say "Right" or "Wrong," (the audience knows anyway) and 
you are through to a climax with an empty stage. 

I know this effect is good. If I have convinced you, you'll have one of the best and most practical tricks in a long 
time. If I haven't convinced you, it will only be a matter of time until you see someone do it and then realize the 
effect upon the audience. 



If this routine is given the proper practice and presentation it will prove to be a reputation builder. After steady 
use for four years I know it is good. It can be done at any time and anywhere with borrowed material. 

Effect No. 1: First of all the magician is securely blindfolded. I always borrow two coins, half 
dollars or quarters, and place one over each eye. Then a pad of gauze is placed over each coin, 
followed with a cloth blindfold over all. This is a genuine blindfold and the method has a decided appeal 
to the layman. 

The magician then requests the loan of a deck of cards which are thoroughly shuffled before they are handed to 
him. Any card is now freely selected, revealed to everyone except the magician, and returned to the deck. The 
performer then runs the card with faces towards the audience, from one hand to the other, telling everyone to 
mentally think the word "stop" when the selected card comes into view. And under such conditions as these he 
succeeds in stopping on the chosen pasteboard. 

Effect No. 2: Saying that due to the favorable conditions which resulted in his being able to discover the chosen 
card, he will attempt to go a step further. He proceeds to have three cards selected, revealed to all, and returned 
to the deck which again is shuffled and cut several times. Once more the performer runs the cards face outward 
from hand to hand and stops at all three of the chosen cards. 

Effect No. 3: The audience is now cautioned to pay strict attention to the final effect. Any card is once more 
taken, shown to all, returned for shuffle and cuts, and the magician builds up the climax. He refers to the 
blindfold, the free selection of cards, etc., and finally says that he will attempt to reveal the chosen card by name. 
The spectator is asked to visualize a picture of the card and the performer succeeds in his revelation! 

I have described exactly the effect as seen by the layman. Never have I been questioned on any part of the 
routine, which gradually builds to a climax that they remember. It is presented strictly as a test of mental 
vibrations, which is why everybody is asked to help send their mental commands to the performer. The blindfold 
is to exclude all light and normal perceptions that might tend to confuse the demonstrator. 

Preparation: It is best to work this routine standing up behind a table with the audience all around you. The 
only preparation necessary is to have a card, say the Four of Spades from a regulation size deck, in your left coat 
pocket. A duplicate of this card, from a bridge size deck, is in your right coat pocket. Have a regulation blindfold 
handy, or a large handkerchief, several small gauze pads and. in case you aren't able to borrow any, a couple of 
half dollars in one of your pockets. 

Routine No. 1: Pass the cards from one hand to the other, cards facing your audience, and have one selected. 
While the card is being revealed to everyone, crimp the lower left hand corner of the top card. Cut the deck 
retaining the top half in the right hand, in position from the regular overhand shuffle. Have the selected card 
returned to the top of the left hand portion, then shuffle the right hand portion on top in the regular overhand 
fashion, with the crimped card going on top of the selected card at the beginning of the shuffle. Have anyone 
shuffle and cut the cards, but hurry him along in this action — in other words, time your patter so that you have 
him cutting the cards before he really gets a chance to shuffle them properly. 

Now, with the deck in the left hand, remove the cards one at a time with the right hand so that the lower left hand 
corner of the card passes under the thumb of the left hand which is resting on top of the deck. Because of this 
position, when you come to the crimped card, you will feel the crimp as it goes under the left thumb. All that 
remains to do is to stop on the next card which will be the one selected. 

Routine No. 2: At the finish of the first effect you cut the crimped card to the top of the deck. Then have any 
three cards selected freely and shown to all. Explaining that you will use just part of the deck to shorten the 
effect, start dealing the cards into three face down piles, one at a time, with the bottom card of the first pile being 
the crimped one. After you have dealt about four cards onto each pile stop and ask someone to stop you at any 
time. Then continue dealing. 

No matter when the signal comes for you to stop, you continue dealing that row across. In other words, each pile 
must finally contain the same number of cards. And as you deal you count. You must know how many cards 
there are to a pile. Thus, if you finish the row with the 21st card dealt you know that there are 7 in each pile. 

Using that number as an example you tell the people with chosen cards to replace them, one on the top of each 
pile. While this is going on, you casually place the remaining cards in the side coat pocket which contains the 
Four of Spades to match the deck being used. These cards are so placed that the Four of Spades becomes the new 
bottom or face card of the deck. It's a natural move to put the cards in your pocket, for the hands must be free for 
handling the cards on the table. Being blindfolded, it's about the only place one could put cards without 

The three piles are assembled in any order, and cut several times by you and the audience. Do not try any fancy 
cuts or shuffles. Remember, you are blindfolded, so it is best to appear clumsy in handling the cards throughout 
the routine. It is this clumsiness plus the blindfold that impresses the audience the most. 

From this point remove the cards as you did in Effect No. 1, except that as each card is removed it is placed back 
on the bottom of the packet held in your left hand. Keep passing the cards in this manner until you come to the 
crimped card. Following it is one of the selected cards upon which you stop, and then lay it on the table. Now 

you pass seven more cards to the bottom of the packet, and the next card will be another of the selected cards. 
Stop on this card and lay it on the table also. 

Pass seven more cards to the bottom. The next card is the last selected pasteboards. This you stop on and put 
with the first two laid out. To "halt" a wise person who may count, or get the impression of sameness in the 
length of passing, go a couple of cards beyond the last one — say you aren't positive because impressions aren't as 
clear as at first — ask the selector to concentrate upon each card showing — and, one by one, deal backwards until 
you reach the proper card upon which you stop and that is the one you lay down. 

Just remember that the number of cards in each pile before the selected cards are returned, is the number of cards 
you pass each time after the revealing of the first selected card which follows the crimp. 

Routine No. 3: Replace the selected cards from effect number two on top of the cards in your 
left hand — and then give them to anyone to shuffle and cut. While this is going on you take the rest of 
the deck from your coat pocket and riffle shuffle it thoroughly, keeping Four of Spades on the bottom. The 
spectator places the other cards on top of your packet. Then you give the entire deck another riffle shuffle, still 
keeping the Four of Spades on the bottom. This action has served to convince all that the deck has been well 
shuffled by both you and the audience. The riffle shuffle is advocated for it is best suited to conceal the 
difference in back design of the Four of Spades. 

Now comes the force of the Four of Spades. Hold the pack normally in the left hand and. with the right thumb 
and forefinger at the sides, pull out a portion from the center of the deck. Run off these cards, a few at a time, 
onto the top of the left hand pile in the Hindu Shuffle manner. You ask, during this, for someone to stop you as 
he wishes. However, you have timed your talk and shuffling off so that you've run out of cards before a 
command can come. Without hesitating, you pull out a new section, not from the middle this time but from the 
bottom portion — run as many off the top as you can until the "stop" comes, and immediately turn over the right 
hand packet to show the face card (the Four of Spades) to those watching. 

At this point, you remark that everything has been done openly, and they must realize the impossibility of you 
knowing at what card they are looking. You recall that you have so far successfully located the cards upon which 
they were concentrating — and add that you wish to go a step further. 

During this talk, and after they have had a chance to see the Four of Spades, you put the right hand packet 
underneath the left hand packet which keeps the Four of Spades on the bottom. Then you riffle shuffle the deck a 
time or two, all the while, of course, keeping the force card on the bottom. 

The selector of the forced Four of Spades approached you and you place your fingers upon his forehead. This 
always entails a bit of difficulty, so you drop the deck into your side coat pocket for the time being and proceed 
to use both of your hands. While he thinks of his card you give as dramatic a presentation of mindreading as you 
can, and reveal the identity of the chosen card. 

You ask immediately for the removal of the blindfold. While it is being untied, you remove the deck from your 
pocket minus the odd Four of Spades. Then the coins, borrowed for the blindfolding, and the cards are returned 
to your host and all is over. 

This is a thorough description of the trick as I present it. I've done it long enough to realize the salient points and 
their effect on the audience. I would suggest that the feat is best presented as a test of extra-sensory perception — 
with a perfect-plus (Professor Rhine) conclusion as a finale. You, as the performer, receive impressions from the 
audience, and act upon them. Then, as a final test, you succeed in revealing a chosen card. It all should be very 
scientific, and not presented as a trick. 

(Editor's Note: It would seem that this stunt would lend itself to a most effective presentation with ESP cards. 
The fact that there are duplicate symbol cards in an ESP pack shouldn't detract from the effect. Passing over one 
or two duplicates before finally settling on a symbol card would make the effect that much stronger, for It should 
be obvious that someone in the audience was not concentrating hard enough! Furthermore, if you knew the name 
of the crimped card — and that should present no difficulty — you could dispense with the pocket subterfuge by 
cutting the crimped card to the bottom of the deck in readiness for the Hindu force.) 



Here is an effect that is a veritable stunner when properly presented. From the audience's standpoint it appears to 
be genuine clairvoyance. 

Effect: The performer is blindfolded, has his hands tied behind his back and is stood by an accommodating 
committeeman so that his side (performer's) is towards the audience. In this position everything the performer 
handles behind his back is visible to the audience. He asks the committee to pick up a deck that is on the table, 
shuffle it and withdraw a half dozen cards. These are handed to the performer behind his back and he correctly 
names and identifies each card. He then asks the committee to supply a watch and to set it at any time they 
choose. When this is handed to the performer he announces at what time it has been set. Then the committee 
picks up a slate and jots down a series of numbers, letters and some simple geometrical figure. No matter what 
they have written the performer is able to identify everything, and thus finishes his test. 

Preparation: First take a small mirror of any nature, but preferably not over an inch and a half in diameter. 
Now, if you will stand with your feet about three and a half inches apart, and lay the mirror on the floor between 
them at the insteps, you will quickly grasp the principle employed. Stand straight and look down into the mirror. 
Lean slightly forward, if necessary, and hold your hands behind your back so that you can see them reflected in 
the mirror. Now if you take a playing card and hold it in your hands, you will be able to catch its reflection in the 
mirror. Furthermore, if you stand sidewise to the audience, the mirror cannot be seen yet you can see reflected 
everything you hold in your hands. So much for that. The next thing is the detailed explanation of the mirror's 
use and operation in this effect. 

A sort of anklet wristlet is prepared on the order of a wrist watch strap. This is placed on the 
ankle about three or four inches above your trouser edge, and on the inside of the ankle. On 
the strap is a small eyelet of metal or cord. Now two small mirrors are secured, and these are 
cemented back to back. Fasten a length of black fishline to the double mirror. Run this line up 
through the ankle eyelet, up the trouser leg to just above the seat, where it is then threaded 
through to the back with a needle. Take up the slack till by pulling the thread you raise the mirror, and then cut 
off the line about six inches from where it comes out of the trouser's seat. Fasten a hook to the end of the thread, 
the hook end of which is sharpened. 

When this line is pulled down in back, the mirror is drawn taut against the eyelet on your ankle, and thus it's out 
of sight and out of the way. Bring the hook down and pin it on your trouser leg, and it will be just hidden by the 
edge of your coat where you can get at it quickly. Now you are ready to work the effect. 

Routine: You will find that having your hands tied behind you will make the best impression. Let one of the 
committee supply the handkerchief for the tying. Of course the tying isn't necessary, but afterwards it will serve 
as a reminder that your hands couldn't have been brought to the front at any time. Now pick out the location 
where you will stand, with either side to the audience. Always face according to whichever ankle the mirror is 
attached. This should be on the inside of the leg nearest the audience. Have your feet about three inches apart 
and side by side. Turn your body slightly towards the audience and have one of the committee bind your hands 
behind you. As you make this slight turn, your fingers in back release the hook, and the mirror slides down 
between your feet into position on the floor. As the mirror is double sided it can't go wrong. At once the left foot 

pivots a little on its toe, the heel touches the right foot and the mirror is completely hidden under your insteps. 
Thus the committeeman, who is tieing your wrists, is prevented from seeing the mirror. After your hands are 
bound, the committee then blindfolds you with another handkerchief which, of course, does not prevent you 
from seeing down along your nose. 

Ease and simplicity are paramount from here on. The cards are handed and you proceed to read them as desired. 
The mirror remains hidden until wanted, and by slightly moving the heel you get a picture of what you have 
behind you. The blindfold prevents anyone from seeing you look downwards. The test with a watch is very 
effective but in all cases remember that your hands can be seen and therefore act accordingly. Keep turning the 
watch or article over and over as if trying to feel out the information that you give. It will easily be seen that with 
this principle the tests are unlimited. At the finish your actions are practically the reverse of the beginning. Ask 
to have your hands freed for the last test as you will need more freedom in handling the slate. Then, after 
revealing the majority of items, turn your body a little towards the audience when revealing the last few; and the 
right hand holding slate masks the left as it pulls down cord and at once you can turn around freely and pull off 
the blindfold. 



Effect: An assistant from the audience distributes nine numbered slips of paper and the performer asks each 
person receiving one to write a question or bit of personal data. The written slips are then collected and sealed in 
an envelope. This is left in full view of everyone on a table and another assistant is recruited to watch it. 

The medium is now introduced and is seated with her back to the audience. While the performer blindfolds her, 
the person who has the envelope in his care bums it in a nearby ashtray. 

Next a large slate is shown to contain a square divided into nine smaller ones, three across and three down. The 
assistant, as soon as he has finished burning the envelope and slips, is handed the slate together with a piece of 
chalk and is asked to number the squares from 1 to 9 in any order he pleases. He is then given a pointer and is 
asked to point to any number that he pleases. As soon as he has indicated a number, the person who wrote on the 
slip bearing that particular number stands. Immediately the medium answers his question or correctly reveals 
what had been written on that person's slip. This is continued haphazardly until all the squares have been 
indicated and all the nine questions answered. 

As a climax, the medium calls out several numbers which the performer puts under the numbered squares on the 
slate. These form a total across the bottom of the slate. When the three vertical columns are added, this total is 
found to be correct! 

Preparation: The general effect of this routine is excellent. It has a set number of items to be revealed, so it does 
not go on indefinitely. You will need several pay envelopes, a few small slips of fairly thin paper, pencils, a large 
slate and chalk, a blindfold or a large handkerchief, and one of the Thornton card reels. 

Bind five of six fairly large size pay envelopes together with a wide rubber band. Take another envelope, seal 9 
paper slips in it and then fold its length in half with the flap outside. The creased edge of this folded envelope is 
stuck under the rubber band on the flap side of the stack. Square up the stack and. referring to the illustration, the 
folded envelope occupies position ABCD, the band concealing the fact that this envelope is folded. Hold the 
packet securely in your left hand like a deck of cards. 

The reel is concealed in the folds of the blindfold and both are in the medium's possession. Now you're all set. 

Routine: Step into the audience with the envelope packet in your left hand and with the 9 slips and the pencils in 
your right hand. Have the paper slips passed out and the questions written. When completed, pull one of the 
ordinary envelopes off the back of the envelope packet and hand it to a spectator. Ask him to gather the slips, 
seal them in the envelope, and then fold the envelope in half. Take it back and lay it on top of the packet of 
envelopes so that it occupies the position EFGH. Hold the packet above your head with the genuine envelope 
facing the audience and return to the stage. Step to the table and pull the previously prepared envelope out of the 
packet and stand it tentwise on the table. As you do so place the packet of envelopes in your pocket. This is a 
perfect switch and is quite indetectable. 

At the moment of pocketing the envelopes, the medium is introduced and makes her entrance from the right side 
of the stage. A spectator is asked to come up on the stage and watch the envelope on the table. You seat the 
medium, blindfold her and have the spectator burn the envelope at the same time. The process of blindfolding is 
more important than it would seem. The bandage is placed a bit high so that the medium can see downwards 
along her nose. Stand facing the audience at the medium's left as you fasten the blindfold at the back. While in 
this position, the medium reaches into your pocket with her right hand and removes the envelope with the 
genuine questions enclosed. She also has time to fasten the reel to her dress or holds it tightly between her knees. 
Now, as you move to her right side to adjust the blindfold, she slips the button at the end of the reel thread into 
your left hand. 

By this time the envelope is burned. Pick up the slate with your left hand (button is inside your hand and the 
thread passes through your fingers, at the roots, to the medium) and hold it with fingers behind and thumb in 
front while your right hand chalks in the squares. Hand the slate to the spectator and have him number the 
squares. He now points to one of the numbered squares and the person in the audience, who originally had the 
correspondingly numbered slip, stands and concentrates on his question. As he stands, you fold your arms and 
step back a bit, keeping the slate in view. With your arms folded so that your right hand is hidden under your left 
arm, you have an opportunity of catching the thread with your right fingers. (You are standing with the medium 
to your left and your assistant to your right.) You are all set now to signal the numbers as they are selected. 
During this time, the medium has opened the envelope and has arranged the slips, being careful to keep her arms 
tightly against her side throughout Once arranged, she grips the thread and is ready. 






* \ 


% 0% 


The signal code itself is simple. One short tug means one, and one long tug means add five to the shorter 
number. Thus 4 would be four short tugs. 5 would be one long tug. 6 would be one long tug followed by a short 
tug. Zero, when it comes up in the final total of the three columns, is signalled by two long tugs. 

Actual practice will smooth out the action and show you that the figures for the final addition can be transmitted 
while the medium is giving the answer to the last question. There is no rush for this. The moment the last slip has 
been described you send the first number of the answer. Tell the assisting spectator to add the columns, and in 
this interval you send the medium the remaining figures in the total which you have already added mentally. 
Then without a word being spoken, the medium announces the correct total of the three columns. Just as she 
calls out the last digit, let go of the thread and it will snap back into the medium's reel. She pockets it with the 
papers and envelope, stands, removes the blindfold and takes her applause. 



This effect is unusual in theme and makes a neat opening number for a mental routine or act. 

Effect: The performer states that many have asked him the difference between a mindreader and a magician, and 
that he will attempt to make the difference clear. 

He produces two packs of playing cards in their cases and asks the help of a spectator. The spectator selects one 
of the decks and places it in his pocket for the time being. Taking the other deck from its case, the performer 

says that a magician would always fan the cards and have one selected, looked at, replaced, and then after a 
shuffle would locate the correct card in some mysterious fashion. On the other hand, a mindreader would only 
fan the cards with the faces towards the spectator and ask him to merely think of one that he liked. 

Suiting the action of his words, the performer fans the cards and the spectator thinks of one that he sees. Closing 
the deck, it is given a shuffle and the performer hands it directly to the spectator. Now the performer states that 
he has no further control over the cards and that the spectator is to name, for the first time, the card he merely 
thought of. This is done and then the spectator is asked to deal the cards, one at a time, on to the performer's 
hand, face down. As the cards are dealt the performer spells the named card aloud, letter by letter, and when the 
last letter is reached the spectator is stopped. Once more the performer calls attention to the fact that the card was 
merely thought of and not selected by removing it or touching it. The spectator holds up the last card, and it is 
the one thought of! 

After this denouement, the performer explains that the effect could only have been accomplished by his reading 
the spectator's mind, and then putting the correct card in the proper position. But then the performer asks the 
spectator if he thinks that the performer knew what card he was going to select before the performance started. 
The answer is, of course, no! 

The spectator is now asked to remove from his pocket the deck which he had selected and placed there at the 
start of the test. He is told to take it from its case and to repeat what he did before — deal the cards, one at a time, 
as he again spells out the name of his originally selected card. On the last card he is stopped, before he has a 
chance to look at its face, and is asked, "If that is your thought of card, will you be a true believer in the powers 
of mindreading and prophecy?" This invariably gets a laugh regardless of the answer, and then the last card is 
shown. Again it is the correct card! 

The performer then turns to some other person in the audience, and says, "Perhaps, Sir, you may have some 
doubts about the genuineness of this experiment." 

Whatever the reply, the performer says, "To prove that 1 definitely foretold what card this gentleman would 
mentally select, I wrote its name down, sealed it, and put it here in my pocket. Would you kindly take it out and 
read aloud what card I thought would be chosen." 

He does so, and. of course, the prediction is correct! 

Preparation: The method is simply the old automatic spelling principle with six cards, each spelling with a 
different number of letters. Take, for instance, the following set up: AC — 6H — JS — 8H — 9D — QD. Place these 
on top of your deck with the Ace of Clubs the top card; then on top of these place any nine other cards. Now any 
one of these will spell out automatically as follows: "Ace of Clubs" with the Ace turning up on the letter "s"; 
"Six of Hearts," with the 6 turning up on the "s"; and so on throughout the set up. When your deck is set, place a 
short card below the Queen of Diamonds, or alternately pencil dot the back of the Queen on its upper left and 
lower right corners. This is so that you can quickly locate the Queen as you rime the deck or fan it. 

Make exactly the same preparation with the second deck, and place each deck in its own case. Now write six 
predictions on slips of paper, naming a different force card in each prediction. Seal each of these slips in a 
separate envelope, and then place the envelopes in six different pockets of your suit according to a memorized 

Routine: Ask any spectator to assist you, hand him the two decks and ask him to choose one and place it in his 
pocket till later. As you come to the part where you explain what a mindreader would do, cut the deck you are 
holding right below the Queen. Lift the cut off portion with your right hand and fan the bottom six cards, face 
down, with the Queen at the face of the fan. Hold this group up facing the spectator as you ask him to think of 
one card that he sees and likes. Remember to have the spectator at your left so that the audience cannot see 
exactly how many cards are visible. From the patter they assume that you are giving him a choice of a goodly 
number of cards. 

Drop the packet back on top of the cards in your left hand, square up the deck and give it a good riffle shuffle 
below the top fifteen cards. Hand the deck to the spectator and ask him to deal the cards onto your palm after he 
has named his card aloud. You spell out the card, letter for letter for each card that he deals. On the last letter, the 

mentally chosen card turns up. Then the second deck is brought forth, the card spelled, and again it turns up 

The finale with the envelopes was suggested by Leslie May and forms an extraordinarily 
Striking climax to this fine effect. The working of the envelope prediction is, of course, obvious to the 
reader. All you have to do is have some other spectator reach into the correct pocket of your suit, remove the 
envelope he finds there, open it and read your prediction. 



Impromptu thought card tricks have always been welcome, and the following is one I have found to be very 
effective. I'll explain it exactly as I have been using it. 

Effect: The deck is spread out face down and a spectator is asked to remove three cards and hold them. He is to 
study them carefully and make a mental choice of one which he is to keep firmly in mind. Squaring up the deck, 
you have the three cards replaced and give them a shuffle. Now putting the deck behind your back, you try to 
locate the thought-of card by drawing one card out and throwing it face up on the table. You are wrong, of 
course, and explaining that the spectator is not concentrating enough, you fan the deck facing him and ask him to 
spot his card once more. This time you locate his mentally chosen card without fail. 

Routine: The procedure you follow is simply this. When the original three cards are returned to the deck in a 
group, bring them to the top. Now when you place the deck behind your back, transfer the top one to the bottom, 
and the second one you slip into your hip pocket. Run the third one silently into tenth place, by counting off ten 
cards, slipping the top card to the top of the deck and then replacing the nine remaining cards on top of the deck. 
Turn the deck face up and repeat this same move so that the bottom card is transferred from the bottom to tenth 
from bottom. 

Placing these three selected cards takes but twenty seconds. When set, draw any card out of the center of the 
deck and throw it face up on the table. It is, of course, the wrong card and they tell you so. Now bring the deck to 
the front, fan it facing the spectator and ask him if he sees his card as you slowly thumb through the upper half of 
the deck. Nine times out of ten if he sees it he'll say so. If he has seen it then it must be the card tenth from the 
top, so you can spread the deck across the table and pick it out with an appropriate line of patter about impulses, 

If the card hasn't been seen, hand the deck to the spectator and let him finish running through the cards himself. 
If he then sees it, it is the tenth card from the bottom of the deck. If he can't find it at all, he is asked to name it 
and you then remove it from your pocket. Always pocket the middle card of the three as it improves the 
percentage quite a little in favor of this latter finish. 



You will find this trick will create considerable discussion, because it appears to be a genuine test of 
mindreading as well as a novel interpreting of involuntary muscular reactions. The routine is carefully worked 
out, and the problem is presented directly, simply, and without sleights or manipulations. 

Effect: Three people each select cards and return them to the pack in a manner which allays 
suspicion. The deck is returned to the performer who ribbon spreads it face up across the table. The 
first card is found by holding the person's wrist and passing his hand over the pasteboards. The second card is 
found in the same way. And the third card is named by the performer who touches his fingertips to the forehead 
of the person selecting the last card. 

Preparation: Two decks are used. One is a regular deck of cards and the other is a single force deck with all 
cards alike. Arrange the regular deck in the familiar Si Stebbin's system. Put the force deck in your right coat 
pocket. Have the regular deck handy when you are ready to begin. 

Routine: Commence by having the first two cards selected in this manner: Fan the deck freely and allow any 
card to be removed. Cut the deck at this point which will bring the "key" card to the bottom, but don't look at it. 
Pass to a second person and have another card removed. As it is taken, carelessly drop the card above it to the 
floor. Close up the deck, stoop down and pick up the fallen card, your second "key" card, and drop it on top of 
the deck regardless of whether you have seen it or not. 

Now hand the deck to the first person and ask him to push his card anywhere into the deck. He then passes the 
deck to the second person, who also pushes his card into the deck at any place he pleases. The deck is then 
returned to you. To the spectators this method of handling the cards appears more than fair. And it is, because up 
to now you do not know the names of the two selected cards, or where they are in the deck. And furthermore you 
did not force either card. However, you do know where the two necessary "key" cards are — the "key" for the 
first selected card is on the bottom of the deck, and the "key" for the second selected card is on the top of the 

You now spread the deck face up across the table. The first spectator comes forward and his card is found by 
apparent muscle reading. There is ample time for you to note the bottom card, which is your first "key" card. Just 
count one ahead in the Si Stebbin system and then look for that card. The same thing is done with the second 
person by noting the top "key" card and determining the identity of his chosen card. 

Now state that you have developed your powers to the nth degree and ask for a third person to volunteer for your 
last test. Pick up the deck and shuffle it. Explain that the volunteer is to put the deck in his pocket. Then he is to 
take out any card from the deck that he wishes, note it, and then put it in his opposite side coat pocket without 
letting anyone else see it. As you explain this, do it by dropping the deck into your side coat pocket alongside of 
the single force deck. (This is an A1 Baker subtlety.) Take out one card from the force deck, keeping it with its 
back towards the audience, glance at it, and then put it into your opposite coat pocket. Having thusly illustrated 
the procedure, take out the force deck (with its back to the audience), add to it the card you passed across without 
showing it, and deliberately put the deck into the spectator's side coat pocket. Turn your back and walk away 
while he transfers one card. Step back, ask if he is concentrating upon the color, suit and value of the card he 
chose. Point out that under the strict conditions imposed, the only possible way to learn the card's identity is by 
thought vibration, and that he alone can help by thinking intently of the card he chose. 

As you explain this you put your right fingertips against his forehead, and at the same time 
take the remainder of the deck from his pocket with your left hand and drop it into your pocket next to 
the other, regular deck. Proceed now to name the card correctly, giving first the color, then the suit, and finally 
the value. Have the spectator show it, and then suggest that he keep it as a souvenir of the occasion. 

Seldom, if ever, will anyone want to look at the cards.* They were seen and handled freely at the start, and the 
last test makes a deep impression and a great finale. 



The following effect takes advantage of the publicity garnered by Professor Rhine and the Duke University 
experiments, and makes use of a deck of Extra Sensory Perception cards. With these cards but one or two tests 
will suffice the usual audience, because many people look upon these tests as genuine telepathy; know that 
laboratory tests have not gone far; and too much from the performer causes them to suspect chicanery. 

Effect: The performer introduces the test with an opening address somewhat along these lines: 

"It has become public knowledge that, in recent years, universities all over the world have been experimenting 
and testing the little known powers of the mind. Professor J. B. Rhine of Duke has gone further than the rest, 
however, by systematically recording several million tests, using as a base a set of 25 symbol cards; cards 

bearing only 5 different designs and repeated 5 times. These designs were selected for their difference from each 
other, and the experiments involving their use have been termed extra sensory perception. This term is rather all 
embracing and does not mean telepathy or mind-reading in itself. Those are but the more commonly given 
explanations. Extra sensory perception merely indicates and searches for a sense outside of those which all of us 
normally have. I want to try several short tests with these cards, in an attempt to prove that there is something 
beyond all that we know. What it is, and why it is, can only be left to your own judgment." 

With these few words, the performer picks up a deck of ESP cards and, opening the case and removing the cards, 
explains that the deck consists of hut 5 different symbol cards repeated several times. He hands the deck to 
someone willing to assist, and asks that five of the different cards be removed. These are fanned before the 
spectator and he is asked to mentally choose one. The performer then places the fan of cards behind his back 
and, while the spectator concentrates on his card, withdraws one and places it back out, in his trouser pocket. He 
then slowly counts the remaining four cards, one by one, onto the deck, and asks the spectator to name his 
selected card. The performer removes the card from his pocket and it is the correct one! The first test has 
succeeded ! 

The performer offers to repeat the test. This time the five different symbol cards are picked out of the deck and 
laid face down on the table. The performer turns his back as a second spectator picks up one card, looks at it 

*(Editor's Note; For those who like subtleties, here is a fine point. In anticipation of someone wanting to see the 
deck after the trick has been completed, follow this procedure: When picking up the regular deck which has been 
spread on the table, divide it at the duplicate of the force card bringing this card to the top of the pack. Later if 
someone wants to see the deck, reach into your pocket and bring out the regular deck — minus the top card — and 
give it to him. Thus, when the third spectator adds his card to the deck, he will be holding a complete deck. 

and then lays it on the table again. The cards are then moved about a bit, so that the performer cannot tell which 
one might have been selected. He turns around, gathers up the cards, still face down, and places them in his 
inside coat pocket. While the spectator "thinks" of his card the performer finds it successfully a second time. 

A third test is suggested and (he performer has the deck shuffled and then places it in his trousers pocket. A third 
person comes forward and is told to stand behind the performer, and when the performer gives the word he is to 
plunge his hand into the performer's pocket and pull out one card. The performer explains that some people have 
a hidden sense, and that this final experiment will show whether this third gentleman is endowed with it. The 
spectator follows instruction, grasps a card and just as he withdraws it, the performer announces the card's name. 

Requirements: You will need two decks of ESP cards, although but one is used openly. A deck of these cards 
consists of twenty-five cards, being made up of five separate and distinct symbols, repeated five times each. The 
symbols represented are a Square, a Star, a Circle, a Cross and a set of Wavy Lines. See the illustration. 

These cards should be in a regular fan, one behind the other, from left to right, so that when squared up they will 
retain their memorized order. 

To prepare for the effect, take 5 Stars from one deck and discard the rest. Put 4 of these Stars face outward under 
your belt in the back, allowing the lower half of the cards to protrude below the belt; or suspend them from a 
paper clip, sewn to the inside of your coat, so that they hang within an inch of the bottom edge of your coat. 
Then from the deck you will use, take one each of the five designs, place the Star at the face of the packet and 
place them in your inside coat pocket. The extra Star card is left in the deck, and the deck is replaced in its case. 

Routine: Open with the patter outlined under "presentation," then pick up the card case, show it openly and 
name the 5 designs which make up the deck. Say that you will use the 5 different symbols, and hand the case to 
someone, asking him to remove the cards. Take the cards from him, run through them, select the five different 
cards, and fan them, making a mental note of the sequence. Hold the fan face towards the assisting spectator, as 

Ask the spectator to look them over and to finally settle his mind on but one design. He is to think of the design 
as a mental picture, rather than as a name. 

Square the cards face down in your left hand. Place both hands with the cards behind your back. Transfer the 
packet of cards to a position between your right fingers and thumb, while the left hand secures the four Star cards 
from the clip under the back of your coat. Hold these face down in your left palm. While you are doing this, say, 
"You are thinking of a symbol. I shall remove one card," bring your right hand around in front of you, holding 
the packet squared as though it were but one card, and put it in your right trouser pocket. As you do so, say, 
"One from five leaves four," and bring your left hand in front of you and deal the four (Star) cards face down on 
top of the deck, which should be on the table. 

Now ask the spectator to reveal the design he chose, at the same time inserting your right hand into the right 
trouser pocket, where your fingers separate the five cards (one finger going in between each card) whose 
sequence you already know. 

As the spectator names the design he selected, you ask, "Why did you choose the . . .? Is such a design connected 
with your everyday life? Did it remind you of something?" This slight stall gives you an opportunity to secure 
the correct card, and you should have it half out of your pocket and in view as he answers. You finish with, 
"Well, you concentrated upon it very thoroughly and steadily. Some force directed me to that very symbol." 
Show the card to be correct and toss it onto the deck. 

The deck now contains the 5 added duplicates of the Star (one was already there and you just added the four 
from the clip under your coat.) 

Look at someone else and say, "We shall try it a bit differently. The five designs shall be left on the table." As 
you patter, run through the deck with the faces towards you and apparently remove five different cards. Instead, 
however, you pick out the five Stars and drop them, face down, in a row on the table. Say, "This time I'll turn my 
back and leave the selection up to chance alone. There won't be any opportunity for me to take advantage of a 
possible liking on your part for any particular card. Please step to the table, pick up and look at any one design. 
Put it back in its place, and then slightly move each card a bit so as to prevent leaving any clue as to which card 
may have been picked up." 

The second spectator does as instructed, and then you turn around, pick up the five cards and place them, face 
down, on your left palm. Transfer them to your right hand, as your left hand opens your coat and removes 
(without a word) a couple of letters or papers from your inside coat pocket. Lay whatever you've removed on the 
table, and then transfer the packet of cards back to your left hand. Your right now takes hold of your coat lapel 
on the right side, and pulls the coat open a few inches. Your left hand pretends to place the packet of cards in the 
inside coat pocket, but actually deposits them in your upper vest pocket with thumb and forefinger, while the 
other fingers go on into the coat pocket for effect. Now open the coat out wide so that all may see the inside 

Ask the spectator to think hard of the card he selected. You reach into the inside pocket with your left hand and 
remove a card with its back to the audience and the spectator. Look at it, shake your head and toss it face up on 
the table. This card is any card but the Star, which as you remember faces the inside of your pocket. Repeat this 
with the next three odd cards, tossing each one face up on the table. This will leave the Star card for last. As you 
toss the fourth card down, say, "You aren't thinking of any of those. It must be the last. Will you name your 
symbol and then reach into my pocket and remove it yourself?" He does so, and, of course, finds but one card 
and that one is the Star card which he selected! 

The added duplicates are now safely out of the way (in your vest pocket), and only four different cards remain in 
your right trouser pocket. These are, as you will remember, the four cards left over from the first test, and you 
also know the order in which they are arranged. 

Continue with the effect by saying, "We have tried this by mental selection and by chance selection. Now we 
shall turn about and see whether or not someone here in the audience is endowed with a hidden sense." Select a 
third person, or accept a volunteer, and have him shuffle the deck until he's satisfied that the cards are well 
mixed. Take the pack face down and put it into your right trouser pocket under the four cards that are there. You 
know the top card of this packet of four, and this card now becomes the top card of the deck. What is just as 
important is that this known card is also the nearest card to the outside of your pocket. Placing the cards in your 
pocket takes but a minute, so you continue to address your new assistant, "You, sir, shall stand behind me. When 
I snap my fingers, please reach into my pocket with your right hand, pull out a card and look at it behind my 
back. No one will see it but yourself." There won't be one time in fifty that this person will miss getting the top 
card. It's the only one he can get quickly and without effort. To be sure that he will grasp the right one, you hurry 
him along, and just as he dives into your pocket, you snap your fingers and say, "You are going to select a . . .!" 
(You name, of course, the top card.) As he withdraws the card you swing around and ask, "What is it?" He 
shows it, and everyone sees that it is the card you named! Climax! 

Remarks are superfluous. The deck is now a complete one, and it is at this time when all who are interested in 
such tests will ask to examine it. Tricks no end can be done, but this routine has stood me well for several years 
and it has been ironed out through actual performance. Both the patter and the effects are logical, nothing is 
claimed, and the spectators are left to mull it over in their own minds and arrive at any conclusions they like. 
Don't, however, becloud the tests by using these ESP cards like an ordinary bridge deck, and then complicate 
things with fancy sleights and intricate effects for which the symbol cards were never intended. 



The following mental routine is a novel, two person telepathic effect using four Aces from any deck. It is my 
simplified version of an effect published by Hugh Mackay in 1925. You will find it quite different in theme from 
other similar problems of the same nature. 

Effect: The lady assistant retires to another room with a spectator as guard. Any pack of cards is used and 
handed to someone who removes the four Aces. He mixes the Aces, and lays them, or stands them, in a face out 
row in any order. Lastly, he turns over (so that the backs are outward), either the two red Aces, or the two black 
Aces. The audience having noted down the position of each Ace in the row, and the color reversed, a spectator 
mixes them up and leaves them on the table. The lady now returns and her blindfold is removed at the table, after 
the performer has been put under guard. The lady immediately carries out the exact movements which took place 
while she was absent. 

Secret and Routine: The whole thing is pure presentation plus the finger nail bump. If you hold a card between 
the tips of the forefinger and thumb, and press sharply with the nail of the forefinger against the card over the 
ball of thumb, a slight bump is raised which can be detected instantly by passing a thumb or finger over the 
surface of the pasteboard. 

I suggest that the cards be stood against something rather than laid on the table. All can see the row better, and it 
makes it easier for you. After the row has been placed in the desired position by a spectator and the color 
reversed, you ask someone to jot down the order of the Aces as they stand. You pick up the first, saying, "Clubs" 
(or whatever it is), and toss it to the table. Repeat with the rest, and finally mention, for notation, the color which 
was reversed. You only have to nick three cards. And it does not matter whether the card is facing one way or 
another as the three marks can't get mixed. The first card's bump is anywhere along the end; on the second it is 
somewhere around the center; and on the third it is anywhere along the side. The fourth need not be marked. 
After all notes have been made and the cards have been well mixed, you ask someone to go out and call in the 
lady assistant. If you send out a lady, the reversed color has been black; if a gentleman, red. If you are working 
before only one sex, arrange with your partner beforehand which of the two people you'll send. 

The lady returns, picks up the Aces, looks them over. She puts up the second or third Ace, then another, another, 
and finally moves one and puts the other between, all of which builds up the effect of concentration and 
uncertainty. Lastly, she turns over the correct pair of colors. 



This effect is a perfect follow up to the preceding one, "The Secret Order of the Aces." It bears a similarity, but 
its general appearance is different, and the conditions are strict, which will counteract any thoughts your 
audience may have about the first trick. 

Effect: The performer requests his assistant, or medium, to step into an adjoining room for a few minutes. He 
now borrows a deck of cards and has it shuffled or well mixed. Remarking that he will not touch the cards even 
once, the performer has someone spread the deck out and has four cards removed. These are placed in a face up 
row on the table. Now, the selector is asked to take his time, change his mind as often as he desires, but finally to 
settle upon one of the (our. When he has decided, he touches the card with his finger. Someone else gathers up 
the four cards, and shuffles them as much as he likes. While he does so, the performer steps into a closet or into 
another room, where he will not be able to contact the medium. 

When the medium returns, she correctly reveals the card upon which everyone is concentrating. 

The fact that any four cards are removed for this test, and the fact that the performer never touches them, make 
this quite foolproof. 

Secret: The secret lies in the possibility of any four cards being mentally known as 1, 2, 3 and 4. The lowest in 
value is recognized as 1. The next is 2, the next is 3, and the highest is 4. Where duplicate values are among the 
four, the suits have preference in a pre-arranged order. Use the suit values common in Bridge, i. e. : Clubs, 
Diamonds, Hearts and Spades, which Spades the top value. Thus there can never be any confusion between you 
and your medium as to me secretly recognized order, no matter what cards arc being used. 

Routine: After the final selection of one card, and the subsequent shuffling of the four, you either have a lady or 
gentleman, as the case may warrant, take the cards to the medium; or go and bring her back to the room, where 
she stands next to the table gazing at the cards. 

If the cards are taken to the medium by a lady, she knows the selected card is No. 1; by a gentleman. No. 2. If a 
lady fetches her, but has left the cards on the table, then the selected card is No. 3. If a gentleman goes to fetch 
her without the cards, then it's No. 4. 

In the first two instances, she looks over the cards and arranges them in order. She then selects the correct card, 
and returns to the room with it in her hand, but held face down. The selector names it, and she turns it face up. 
It's correct! 

On the other hand, if she is lead to the table, she spreads the cards face up, looks at them, picks them up and 
removes a card without showing it. The selector names his card and the medium turns it over, showing it to be 
the one she's holding. 

This presentation, together with the subtlety of using any four cards, will be found to fool the most erudite. 



Effect: The audience sees four envelopes passed out, and four cards taken from the pack by the people receiving 
the envelopes. The cards are sealed in the envelopes and a fifth person collects them, mixes them, and lays them 
in a row on the table which stands between the performer and the audience. 

Now the performer speaks out. He explains that he intends to show that a sympathy exists between people and 
the objects they have touched. To emphasize that sympathy he will let each of the four people pass through a 
sieve of chance. 

Each of the four persons is given his chance. Each, in turn, selects an envelope and places it in 
his pocket. The performer then says, "Ladies and gentlemen. Four of you have selected cards, 
sealed them tightly in separate envelopes, so that no one but them know what cards were 
chosen. The envelopes were then mixed and, finally, each of the four assistants reclaimed one 
envelope by chance selection. This you have all witnessed. When I started this experiment, I mentioned 
coincidence. I ask you now to check, carefully on an occurrence that you will rarely ever see duplicated again. 

Mr. , the name of your card? Open your envelope. It's the same one you selected. Good. 

Show it to the audience, please. Mr. , you picked what card? The . Open your 

envelope, please, etc." 

Each person shows the card in his envelope and it is seen to be the very one he originally selected. Is it 
coincidence that all found their own cards? It's either factual evidence or accurate fancy! 

Routine: The envelopes, handed out in a careless manner, are marked. It doesn't matter how, but the containers 
are capable of being identified from each side as 1, 2, 3, 4. When the fifth person lays them down in a row, the 
performer's first mental effort is to note how they lie. 

First he patters about leaving all to chance. He knows the people as I, 2, 3, 4. Therefore he knows to whom each 
envelope belongs. First, he looks at the envelope second from his left. He motions, offhandedly, towards the 
person to whom he knows it belongs. "Give me a number between one and four — quickly." If "three" is given, he 
asks that person to step forward, count to it, take it, and step back. If "two" is mentioned, he looks down, counts 
deliberately to two and offers it. From each side of the row the same card has been "sold" to its owner. 

You now push the three remaining envelopes together to close up the empty space. This action permits you to 
see the mark on the middle envelope. Fooking upward, after the arrangement, you ask another of the "four" to 
step forward. Naturally, it is he to whom the middle envelope belongs. 

Pick up your right hand envelope and give it to him. Say, "Just touch one of the others." Should he touch his own 
(original center) you continue, "Keep it for yourself." Should he touch the right end envelope you say, "That puts 
both out of the way. Pick up that envelope on the table and put it in your pocket." 

No matter what happens, he gets his own. You put the two remaining envelopes side by side, and call either one 
of the two remaining people. And you know which envelope belongs to the person who comes up. 

Ask him outright to pick up one. As you request him to do so, look at and motion for the last person to come 
forward, too. Pretend to ignore the person who is selecting the envelope, but note which envelope he has 

As the fourth person steps up, you have two "outs." Should the third man pick up the envelope belonging to the 
fourth man, and that man is coming forward, tell the selector to give it to the fourth man. Then indicate that the 
selector is to take the remaining envelope. On the other hand, if he should select his own envelope, let him keep 
it and, of course, the fourth man takes the last envelope, which is his own. 

Now ask all the people with envelopes to come forward and stand around you facing the audience. Explain what 
you hope will happen and have them all open their envelopes and show their cards to the audience. 

One thing that you must remember is to make your presentation very deliberate, without a show of hesitation. 
The patter must be timed with the action, and should be very matter of fact. Since you do not care, apparently, 
how the envelopes are returned and selected, then the only answer the audience can arrive at is that it was all a 
matter of pure chance. Pass blithely, but accurately, through this part of the trick. Save your showmanship for the 
opening announcement and the closing one just prior to the climax. 

You will find the effect on the audience to be terrific, provided, of course, that you present the stunt as an 
experiment to test an unknown but suspected quality in everyone to veer towards that which is his own. Your 
attitude throughout should be that your assistants do the trick — not you! 



"Somewhere, every thought that you will ever possess is waiting to be brought into the world. I ask you to think 
of something — a word will do — in a manner that requires some conscious effort on your part. That gives me 
time to project my astral body to the waiting place for your unborn thoughts. Your conscious effort removes a 
thought and brings it into being on our earth. As I am on the spot, by psychic vision, I see that thought removed, 
and can tell, upon coming out of my trance, what is on your mind." Thus, the performer prepares his audience for 
the following miracle of modem day mindreading. 

Effect: Your subject is given a packet of 52 alphabet cards — just enough so that the alphabet may be repeated 
twice with one letter to each card. He steps to a distant spot, cuts the packet where he may please, and removes 
three cards. No one else sees them. 

If it is possible for him to form a word from the three letters he holds, he does so. Should he not be able to do so, 
he discards them and takes three more. 

You do not handle the cards again, ask any leading questions, or even have him write the word, but you know it. 

Method No. 1: (by Mr. James): Although the packet of cards is referred to as two complete sets of the alphabet, 
they bear only three letters repeated throughout, as: C-I-E-C-TE-C, etc. An indifferently lettered card or two may 
be put at the face of the packet. The volunteer cuts and removes three cards. It does not require much thought on 
his part to form the word ICE — the only word possible with these letters. Telling him that if he cannot form a 
word from the letters chosen he may take three more is merely misdirection. Other letters may be substituted as 
long as the formation of a word is readily apparent and only one word can be made. 

Method No. 2: (by Annemann): This honey of an effect reminded me of a much popularized 
book test method I introduced called, "Between the Lines." It requires a Dunninger to nerve 
one's self into letting a 3-banked force deck, whether cards or letters, be handled by a 
spectator. Besides, wanting to use the effect, and not wishing to buy enough decks of alphabet 

cards to build the force pack, we sought to accomplish a near miracle with only one deck of 
two complete alphabets. It has necessitated eliminating Mr. James' condition that no leading 
questions be asked, but experience has taught US that a person can ask lead questions when trying what 
is evidently a most impossible feat, and build up the opinion that he is working hard mentally against a subject 
not quite perfect at concentrating. At any rate, accept this variation at face value, please. 

Set your alphabet deck as follows: Q-H-J-C-S-V-X-N-U-T-K-F-O-G-M-R-E-D-Z-L-I-P-W-B-A-Y. Now repeat 
this formation of letters with the second half of the pack. 

Show the case, explain about it containing alphabet cards, along with your theme patter. Remove the deck and 
pick a spectator to be the subject, at the same time false shuffle the cards and fan them to let the faces be seen. 
Just before giving the deck to the spectator cut about 13 cards from the top to the bottom. 

The spectator cuts the deck and deals three cards face up on the table. You have your back turned. Ask if he can 
make a word from them. "No? Push them aside and deal three more. No? Push them away and try three more. 
Yes?" Have him hold the three cards and discard all the others. 

He is to think of the first letter. "R? No. Try the last letter. P? No. Let's take the middle letter. U? No. 
Concentrate. It’s the name of a place? No. We’ll try by having you feel the word as though you were with it. Ah! 
It is a clammy feeling. The word is ’Fog.’ Right." 

It seldom will be that long. We’ve given you the longest possible ritual. With the set-up given, but 5 three letter 
words can be formed and they are: 

Red, Lip, Nut, Fog, and Bay. No other possible combinations can be formed. To remember these words easily, 
memorize the following sentence: 

"With red lips she ate nuts while sailing on a foggy bay. " 

Your system of "pumping" is always the same. The moment you get a "Yes," you know the word. On the last 
two the "name of a place" separates "Fog" and "Bay." 

Those who try this stunt will soon realize that errors on your part really enhances the effect, so long as the 
positions of the thought of letters are changed each time (first, last, middle). These errors, plus the fact that the 
spectator may have to make several deals before he gets a word, convinces the audience that you are attempting 
an impossible feat. When you succeed, as you do, the effect is a phenomenon so far as they are concerned. 



This card effect of causing a mentally chosen card to automatically and instantly reverse itself in a deck, is 
probably the finest mental effect known today. It is not only the most subtle but also the most incomprehensible 
feat imaginable from an audience's viewpoint. It has tremendous possibilities when properly presented as a 
problem of mental coercion. One well known mentalist has garnered reams of newspaper publicity by using it as 
a long distance telephone test. 

Effect: The performer tosses a card case containing a deck of cards onto the table, or hands it to someone to 
place in his pocket. The performer explains that he is going to make the spectator think of one of the 52 cards in 
the deck. To prove that the spectator will think of and name a certain card. 

the performer explains that he has already taken a particular card with a different colored back and has inserted it 
in the deck, but in a reversed position. The spectator thinks for a moment and then names the first card that 
comes into his mind. Picking up the deck, the performer removes it from its case and fans the cards. In the fan 
but one card is reversed, and that one card is the very card just named by the spectator. It is removed from the 
fan and turned back up, when it is seen that its back is red whereas the backs of all the other cards in the deck are 

Preparation: A special deck of cards will have to be prepared for this trick, or you can buy the deck all ready 
made up from any magic dealer. The deck is arranged as follows: All the Hearts and Diamonds are Blue backed 
cards, while all the Spades and Clubs are Red backed cards. Lay out the cards face up from RIGHT to LEFT, 
starting with Ace to King of Diamonds followed by the Ace to King of Hearts, in a horizontal row across your 
table. Now directly under these cards lay out, face up, the Ace to King of Spades followed by the Ace to King of 
Clubs — but starting from the LEFT end of the row and continuing on towards the RIGHT, as follows: 

KM QN IN 1 0H 9H IN 7H 6H 5H 4H 3N 2H AH KD QD JO 100 90 ID 70 60 SO 40 30 20 A0 

AS 2S 3S 4S SS 6S 7S IS 9S 10S IS QS KS AC 2C 3C 4C SC 6C 7C IC 9C 10C 1C QC KC 

Now prepare the face of each card with roughing fluid, obtainable at any dealers. To assemble the deck, turn 

each card in the top row face down on the card under it in the bottom row. Assemble these pairs by putting the 

left end pair on to the next pair to the right. These are put onto the next pair to the right, etc. You now have a 
pack of double back cards, one side of which is blue, the other red. When the blue backs are up the first face up 
card, the lower one of the top pair, is the Ace of Spades; and when the deck is reversed with the red backs up the 
first face up card, also the bottom one of the top pair, is the Ace of Diamonds. 

The deck so assembled may be fanned and each of the pairs of cards will adhere, so that you may fan it from 
either side and the audience will see nothing but the backs of the cards. Now to cause one of the face up cards to 
appear, all one has to do is to apply a little pressure with the fingers when you reach the proper pair and they will 
separate, revealing the bottom card face up. As the Diamonds and Hearts run from Ace to King in two complete 
cycles, all you have to do is to hold the deck with the Red side up and push the cards off into the right hand with 
the left thumb, counting mentally one, two, three, etc., until you reach the Diamond you want. To get a particular 
Heart just continue counting in the same fashion. To help in counting the second cycle of Hearts, the 14th pair 
from the top, which has the Ace of Hearts face up as the lower card, is pencil marked on the back with a small 
dot in its upper left and lower right corners. Thus to find a Heart quickly just fan the cards to the pencil marked 
one and start your count from there. 

Now turn the deck over so that the Blue backs are on top, and you will be able to locate the Spades and the Clubs 
in the same way as you did the Diamonds and Hearts, by running and counting the cards from your left hand into 
your right. Mark the 14th card with pencil dots, as already explained, and this will be your key to the run of 

The only other preparation necessary to make the trick complete is to be sure to use a card case of a neutral 
color, such as a white Fox Lake case. In this way, the deck may be removed with either the red or the blue backs 
of the cards showing, which will be less obvious than if you removed a red backed deck from a blue case, and 
vice versa. When placing your assembled deck in its case, mark the outside of the case on one side to indicate 
which color backs will be facing that side of the case. Thus you can pick up the case and. knowing which side of 
the cards are red and which are blue, you will be guided accordingly. 

Routine: The presentation should now be obvious. Toss your deck on the table, tell your audience about the 
insertion of a different colored card in the deck and how you are going to attempt to make one of them name that 
very card. If the card named is a red one, the deck is removed with the red side up; if a black card, the deck is 
removed with the blue side up. You now deliberately fan the cards and count to the spot where you know the 
named card is located, pushing the cards into the right hand, one at a time, as you do so. Be sure to maintain your 
fan formation as you push the cards into the right hand. When you reach the spot where the named card lies, 
apply a little pressure and split that pair, bring the selected card into view and face up in the fan. Draw the face 

up card out of the fan and drop it on the table, saying, "I didn't want anyone to think I was a sleight-of-hand 
artist, so I used a card with a different colored back." Then turn the card over and show its back. 

If you intend to do some further mental stunts with cards, then drop this deck into your pocket, while they 
examine the back of the selected card, and switch it for an ordinary deck with backs to match. You will, of 
course, need to have two ordinary decks, one red back and one blue, and have them in readiness, one in each side 
coat pocket.* 



Effect: Here is a variation of the 
thoroughly shuffles a deck of cards 
and the audience, while he fans out 
the deck. 

While the spectator is making up his mind — and incidentally trying his darndest to select the two cards most 
unlikely to be known to the magician — the performer picks up a second deck and announces that he will 
likewise turn his back and reverse the same two cards in his deck, that the spectator is now 

"You Do as I Do" card trick that borders on the miraculous. A spectator 
and steps into a corner of the room. There he turns his back on the performer 
the deck. He is invited to select any two cards he likes and to reverse them in 

* (Editor's Note: This remarkable card feat has a most Interesting history. Research indicates that this feat of 
causing a mentally chosen card to reverse Itself automatically In the deck was first marketed by Bagshawe of 
London, England, when he Introduced his "Reverso" deck. This English deck relied for its working on pairs of 
cards, set up as described above, but an Ingenious and mechanical arrangement was depended upon to hold them 
together. One card had a small projection on its bach that caught into a declivity in the card above it thus causing 
each pair to slide off the deck as one card. Max Holden, then in England, purchased one of these decks and a 
short time later Introduced the trick to America's magic circles. For quite some time he had such card 
manipulators as Nate Leipzig and T. Nelson Downs running around in circles, until he finally presented the deck 
to T. Nelson Downs. About this time Mr. Holden opened the first of his now well known magic stores and 
featured this deck as one of his most exclusive tricks. Finding that the English make was too difficult to have 
manufactured, he hit on the idea of holding the pairs together with wax. This was roost satisfactory and for years 
he advertised the trick in his catalog as the "Sympathetic Reversed Cards." In both the Bagshawe and Holden 
version the deck was held with backs up throughout the trick. Subsequently Dai Vernon was working with the 
same principle and really popularized the deck. In his version, he used beeswax to hold the pairs together, and 
treated each card on its back so that he worked with a face up deck. Needless to say, the finesse with which he 
handled the deck, soon elevated the trick to a place unsurpassed in its field. Paul Fox suggested the variation of 
using a red and blue backed pack, and then with the advent of roughing fluid Dai Vernon finally perfected the 
trick as we have it today.) 

selecting. When the spectator announces that he is ready, both he and the magician face the audience and fan 
their decks. Impossible as it seems, both the spectator and the magician have reversed the same two cards. The 
effect may be repeated immediately with another spectator. 

When you consider the startling effect, the absolute fairness of the procedure and the futile effort of the spectator 
to outsmart the performer, the effect comes pretty near being a perfect mental masterpiece. 

Routine: The secret depends entirely upon the use of a "Brain-Wave Deck." However, the cards must all be of 
one color — not red and blue backed. The first spectator uses his own or any unprepared deck. Ask him which 
color suit he prefers, red or black. This is important as the Brain Wave Deck only allows showing two reversed 
red, or two reversed black cards, at the same time. You must, therefore, know the color before you pick it up, so 
as to fan it correctly. As the spectator turns to face the audience, ask him to announce the names of the two cards. 
Have him fan his deck to prove it, as you fan your deck to expose the same two cards which you have 
supposedly reversed. 

The effect can be repeated immediately with a second spectator, who selects two cards of the opposite color to 
those chosen by the first person. All you have to do is to turn over your deck while your back is to the audience. 



Effect: The performer writes a prediction upon a slip of paper which is folded and placed aside. He shuffles a 
deck and gives it to a person for cutting. The spectator looks at the top card of the deck and puts it face down on 
the table. Onto it he deals seven cards, and then deals eight cards in a pile for the performer. 

The performer picks up his eight cards, remarking that the spectator knows the name of the card at the bottom of 
his (spectator's) pile, so therefore he will look at the bottom card of his pile — he does. 

The spectator shuffles his own pile of eight cards and then also the performer's pile of eight. Each picks up his 
packet. Both simultaneously deal card after card face down in two parallel rows. The performer then announces 
the name of the card he looked at in his pile, and asks someone to read his prediction. 

It reads as follows: "Your card will be opposite mine." 

The spectator then turns face up, one at a time, the cards in the performer's row until he comes to the card looked 
at previously by the performer. He then is asked to name his card and turn over the pasteboard in his row and 
directly opposite the performer's card. It is the one he chose. 

Method: The deck is both marked and stacked. The performer's shuffle is false, but a 
spectator may cut. When the performer picks up his pile of eight cards and notes the face card 
he can compute eight cards back and know the identity of the spectator's noted card. With 
either of the two rotating suit stacks the spectator's card will be of the same suit as the 
performer's card. This will aid in the figuring. With the Nikola system the suits will be differ- 
ent, but one who has learned this arrangement should know each card by its number value of from 1 to 52. In 
such a case, the card the performer notes has its numerical value from which is deducted 8, and the resultant 
figure translated gives the name of the spectator's card. 

After the shuffled packets of eight are dealt in rows opposite each other, the performer can locate the spectator's 
card, the name of which he now knows, wherever it may be in his row. Then he determines the name of the card 
in his own row directly opposite the spectator's card and calls that as his noted card. The rest of the effect is 
automatically successful. 

A neat addition to the effect is to have the spectator first cut the deck and pocket the top card without looking at 
it. Then the trick proceeds exactly as described. 

Well marked cards can be secured from most magical marts, or from the many "houses" which advertise 
gambling ware in the theatrical trade papers and cheap "sensational" magazines. Most of these places have 
catalogues showing various backs and the systems of marking so you can take your pick. 



You will like this version of "You Do as I Do" effect, if you have the required properties, because the routine 
requires no exchange of decks. 

Effect: Both the performer and spectator shuffle their own decks of cards, secretly remove one card each and 
reverse it in their own decks. When the decks are ribbon spread across the table, both are seen to have selected 
the same card. 

Requirements: Two decks of cards, one of which must be a marked deck so that the cards may be read from the 

Routine: The spectator gets the marked deck and you keep the one that is ordinary. Both of you shuffle well and 
then put your decks on the table opposite each other — both decks are face down. 

Ask him to think of any number, not too large. He announces it aloud. Each of you count off cards together from 
your own decks until the number is reached. The last card (at number), of each pile, is put aside from the pile 
onto which the other cards were dealt. Then each of you peek at that card you have selected — something like 
looking at the "hole card" in a stud poker game. 

The performer says, "Put your card back now, anywhere among the Others, and shuffle. I do the same." And 
then, quickly, as an afterthought, say, "I'm sorry, but the cards should be face up in the decks instead of face 
down. I'll turn around and reverse mine that way — and you do the same, just turn your card over among the 

You again face each other. You call for a coincidence. Have him spread his pack across the table with the backs 
up. In the middle there turns up his selected card facing everybody. You spread your deck in the same manner. 
And the card face up in your deck is the same as his! 

Coincidence? No. This time it was simply a case of one marked deck. The spectator gets it 
and can shuffle as much as he likes. The counting is purely "business." The selected cards are laid 
aside, and then much ado made of the peeking at them. It doesn't matter what you have. Your ability is used for 
getting the name of his card from its back. The aftermath allows you to find the duplicate of the spectator's card 
and turn it over in your own deck. 



Out of the hidden and forbidden fastness of Tibet comes the background for this little excursion into 
improbability. A Lama, to a Tibetan, is a superman capable of little parlor stunts like levitation for an indefinite 
period, or a stark naked marathon run of hundreds of miles over 20, 000 foot high ant hills that make up the 
Himalaya's. Mental projection of astral images, telepathy, all the things that we in our devious ways attempt to 
imitate under the guise of magic, are reported to be actualities to these fantastic sorcerers. 

Shrouded in Sanskrit are directions for performing these miracles. Since, however, most of the formulae call for 
a twenty year residence in an isolated cave plus a meager subsistence ration, perhaps it would be easier to call on 
Sakya-t 'Ubpa and see what we can do with a playing card representation of the "Green Lama." 

Effect: Three playing cards, printed as Green Lamas are shown. See the illustration for the type of picture to use. 
They are placed in a face down row, end to end. On to each are dealt two cards at right angles. Then, to one side, 
are dealt three indifferent cards in a pile. 

The first of the original three stacks is picked up and the Lama card openly pushed between the two other cards. 
The master, you, mutters "Ommani-padme-hum," (a Tibetan prayer saying, "Hail the shining jewel in the lotus 
blossoms," and. allegorically, "Greater glory to Buddha.") The three cards are shown to be indifferent to the 
prayer. But the Lama card has vanished. The off-side indifferent heap is fanned face up and the Lama card is 
among them. 

The second original stack is picked up and its Lama card inserted. In the same manner it is 
shown to have disappeared, and then revealed to have travelled to the off-side pile. In the last 
instance, some spectator holds the pack while the Lama again vanishes from its packet. The 
per- former shows the off-side stack now containing all three Lama cards, and all is open for inspection by the 

Requisites: Aside from the ability to mumble "Ommani-padme-hum" reverently, one needs only three Lama 
cards, a simple false count, a double lift, and a bit of faith. 

Routine: Put the three Lama cards under the top, indifferent, card of the deck. Double lift and show a Lama 
card, holding it up. Then pick up the next two cards and show three Lama cards in a fan. Replace them upon 
deck and deal three cards face down, end to end, from right to left. Off to one side deal, singly and face down, 
the next three cards from deck. Actually, the first card (right end) of the row is an indifferent card, the next two 
beside it are Lamas, and the off-side pile consists of two indifferent cards and one Lama card. 

Hold the deck in your left hand as for dealing and push a few cards to the right with your thumb. Under cover of 
this move get the left little finger under the third card. Bring the right hand over, square the bunch of three with 
the fingers at outer end and the thumb at inner, saying, "We'll put two cards from the deck with each Lama," and 
the squared bunch is dropped overlapping the left end card in the row on the table. 

This action is repeated with the next three (apparently two) cards from off the deck, and they are dropped upon 
the middle card. On the last card (right end, indifferent) the move is made in the same manner but in this case it 
is true. Only two cards are squared and dropped upon the card. 

Pick up the left end packet with the left hand. Hold it face down with your fingers on one side and thumb on the 
other. Really there are three, but apparently there are two. The right hand picks up the Lama card, shows, and 
apparently pushes it in between the left hand cards. It really goes second from the top of the three. 

The mumble -jumble now takes place. You may even patter about the Lama's ability to project himself. Display 
the bottom card, remove it, and put it face up on the table. Show the face of the next card, and, as you reach for it 
with the right fingers underneath and against its face, the thumb of the same hand pushes back the top card. Thus 
the face card, with the Lama card behind it, is put face up upon the card already on the table. The last card is 
turned over to show that the Lama has gone. It is dropped face up onto the others. 

The off-side pile is turned up and one Lama card is found there. It alone is dropped face down in the same spot 
on the table, while the first face up pile just shown is picked up with the right hand, and put face down on top of 
the two cards, from the off-side pile, which remain in your left hand. This packet of cards is now dropped onto 
the deck. Then, from the deck, are dealt two cards onto the off-side Lama card. 

The next, or middle, packet is handled in the same manner as was the first. But, this time, when you put the 
shown cards (with Lama concealed) on the deck, either slip the top card to bottom deliberately or make an idle 
shuffle to accomplish the same result. There is a Lama on top of the deck now, so you double lift and show an 
indifferent card apparently in that position. Replace the card (pair) and deal off the Lama card onto the off-side 
pile, face down. 

Have a spectator hold the pack tightly. This time you do not show the Lama card as it is put into its group (the 
last pile, all of which are indifferent cards, and only three) but by this time you have convinced all, at least 
subconsciously, of your fairness. Build up this finish, bellowing "Om-mani-padme-hum" in a rotund basso, and 
show the third Lama gone, using, of course, the same manner of moves as used previously, except that this time 
they are honest. Then fan the off-side group to show all three Lama cards together.* 



All magicians are familiar with the "Princess Card Trick," wherein a card is mentally chosen from a group, and 
discovered by the magician, after he has placed the group in his pocket. In its simplest form, the trick is done 
with five cards; in his pocket the performer has four extras. Arranging the shown group in numerical order, he 
has simply to put it in his pocket, bring out the four extras, one by one, faces down; then pluck the mentally 
selected card from his pocketed group, as soon as it's named aloud. 

The trick always had two recognized draw-backs. First, that the chosen card had to be named aloud, which was 
not particularly serious. The other was that the extra cards could never be shown after removal from the pocket, 
which was a serious objection to the trick. It was overcome by DeLand’s mechanical version of the trick, with 
"two way" cards involved, but that didn't satisfy the host of magicians who prefer tricks with a borrowed pack. 

Seeking a solution to the problem, I found one, and included it in my "New Magician's Manual." The system was 
to use five cards that were quite similar, and to have four extras, also similar. That is, all the cards were blacks, 
and spots, of five, six, seven, eight, and nine denominations. This enabled the magician to finish the trick by 
casually showing the faces of the extra cards that he removed from his pocket, people taking them to be the 

Still, the trick lacked something. Analyzing it, I uncovered an unnoticed objection. It was the use of the pocket. 
The process wasn't natural. Since the pocket couldn't be eliminated, the answer was to find a reason for using it. 
Obviously, it would be natural to put cards in the pocket, if there was nowhere else to place them. So, the idea 
struck, to "double up" the trick, using two sets of cards. Needing each hand for a separate action, the magician 
would logically have to work from his pockets. 

This was more than a solution to an old trick. It doubled the effect, as well as baffling people with the use of a 
greater number of cards. Thus the "Twin Princess," as I shall describe it, is really a worthwhile mystery. Since 
the reader is already familiar with the principle, I shall concentrate upon method and presentation. 

To begin with, I have reduced the trick to a choice of "one in four" instead of "one in five," which speeds the 
process, and is quite satisfactory, considering that it is a "repeat" proposition. In your right trouser's pocket stow 
three black cards: a seven, an eight, a nine; two being of one suit, the third of the opposite suit. In the left 
trouser's pocket, put three reds, a six, a seven, and an eight, varying the suits on a two to one ratio, as with the 

* (Editor's Note: This startling stunt can be done with blank playing cuds on which you hare had printed your 
picture. Such cards to match your deck may be obtained from any magic dealer. At the finish of the effect, these 
cards can be left with the spectators as souvenirs and advertisements.) 

Now, running through the pack faces up, pick out spot cards of both colors, but make sure that you take four 
blacks, values six, seven, eight, nine; and four reds, of those same values. Discarding the pack, show the cluster 
you removed, reds and blacks together; then, casually, sort the reds from the rest. 

That done, hand the four blacks to a spectator, faces down, telling him to mix them, then look at one card and 
remember it, mixing it back with the rest. Or, you can have him deal the cards in a row, glance at one, by picking 
it up, and then mixing it with the other face down cards. 

You make this very fair, by turning your back during the process. You also turn away, to give the four red cards 
to another spectator, so that he can make a similar "one card" choice. By the time he is ready, the man with the 
blacks has finished. So, you take the four blacks, solemnly glance at their faces, and nod, as though reading his 
mind. In going through the blacks, you arrange them in order; six, seven, eight, and nine. 

Since the reds are now ready, you turn to get them, and, needing both hands, you show the black packet, and put 
it in your right trouser's pocket, above the extras there. Go through the glancing process with the reds, fixing 
them in numerical order, and then, having put the blacks in one pocket, you quite logically stow the reds in the 

Concentrating, you say "Black," and draw an extra card from the right pocket. Then, remarking "Red," take an. 
extra from the left. Dropping the cards faces down on the table, you continue this alternating process, until you 
have three black cards in sight, and three red ones. To the man on your right, you say: "There are three of the 
blacks — and will you tell this other gentleman the name of the fourth — which might be your card?" Note, that he 
is naming it for the benefit of the other chooser, a fine point of psychology. Your hand is going into your right 
pocket, and having the four originals there, you easily get the one he names, by simply counting to the right card 
numerically. But, even here, you have good misdirection, for you are turning to the left, to ask the other man, the 
name of his card. By then, you have the black card, and are waving it, back toward its chooser, while reaching 
for the named card in the left pocket, as the man on your left gives it. 

Again, the misdirection is perfect, and so is the climax. In drawing the left card, hold it back outward, too. Look 
from one card to the other; then hand them to their owners, faces in view, showing that you scored a double hit! 
Then, turning up the three black cards on the table, you say to the first man: "And remember — you chose the 
card mentally from these four!" Immediately after, you turn up the red extras, and make the same statement to 
the second man. 

Note how easily this all fits. Sevens and eights are always confusing as to suits; sixes and nines, being reversible, 
are even more so. You have no fives, tens, or other "strangers" to worry about. All that remains is to merely get 
the cards that you left in your pockets. 

Here is an excellent way of doing it. Have a card selected from half of the pack. Bring it to the 
top, and put that half in one pocket. Do the same with a card from the other half, and put it in 
the other pocket. Have the cards called by name, or just concentrated upon, and bring them 
out, simultaneous- ly, a very nice effect. Then, bring out the halves of the pack, including, with them, the 
extra cards previously left behind. 

Note: This is a good committee trick, with two spectators from the audience. You can flash cards faces front, 
before and after, and in drawing extras from pockets, they can be placed in the hands of your assistants, faces 
down. But even if they see the faces, they won't be any wiser. 



Here's a little stunt that can be built up through presentation to an effective bit for a mental routine. A similar 
effect was a favorite with both Sid Lorraine and Ted Annemann. 

Effect: Three playing cards, a black Jack, a black King and a red Queen are handed to a spectator. He mixes 
them and holds them in front of him, fan-wise, with the backs facing you. You or the medium, if she is to do the 
trick, have stood some ten or fifteen feet in front of the spectator while he shuffled the three cards. Walk towards 
him, look into his eyes and say, "I am going to guess which is the Queen." When you are directly in front of him, 
reach up, hesitate, and then grab a card out of the fan, as though doing it impulsively. You get the Queen! 

The spectator takes the three cards and mixes them again. He hands them to you behind your back, and again 
you find the Queen. As a final test, he places each card in a separate envelope, mixes them and hands them to 
you one at a time. You take each one and hold it above your head. Suddenly, on one envelope, you feel an 
impulse and announce it to contain the Queen. When the envelope is opened, you've hit it again! 

Preparation: Use cards with one-way back patterns. Put a drop of rubber cement on the back of the Queen, and 
smear it around by rubbing the cement with a paper napkin in a circular movement. When dry the card will have 
a thin, transparent rubber coating that will not be noticeable and will not hinder the shuffling of the cards. The 
envelopes are unprepared. 

Routine: The first effect is obtained by having the back design of the Queen reversed in comparison with the 
other two cards. Thus it will be easy to spot in the fan. The second effect takes advantage of the rubber cement 
spot on the back of the Queen. Just feel for it, and mb off the cement before bringing the card to the front. In the 
third effect, you hand the spectator one envelope at a time in which to seal the cards. As you hand him the 
second envelope, take back the first. Do the same with the third envelope. As soon as you get the one containing 
the Queen, turn it so that its flap faces opposite to the flaps on the other two envelopes. If you hold the envelopes 
flap side down at the start, this will not be noticed. Let him mix the envelopes, and you take them back, one at a 
time, hold them over your head and feel for the flap on the Queen envelope. That's all! 



For a clean cut mental stunt with a borrowed deck of cards, this one will be found hard to beat. It is simple to 
follow, direct in its action and astonishing to the nth degree. 

Effect: The performer hands a deck of cards to a spectator for shuffling, and that person is to think of a three 
figure number as he mixes the cards. The deck is given a second person who shuffles and also thinks of three 

figures. The same thing happens with a third person. The performer retrieves the pack, fans through them and 
removes four cards which he places in a face down row on the table. 

Next, in order that the remainder of the pack be kept intact, he puts a heavy rubber band around its width. A 
fourth spectator is now asked to sign his name across one end of the face card of the deck, in this case we'll say 
it's the Two of Clubs. Each of the original three thinkers now jots down his mentally chosen figures on the other 
end of the card, which results in three rows of three figures each. And the fourth person acknowledges his signed 
card and adds up the vertical columns to reach a total. This he does with the single card in his own hands. 

The sum is read aloud. The magician turns face up the row of four cards that he previously took from the deck. 
They represent the total reached by adding the three numbers thought of by the spectators! 

Preparation: The entire problem is one that uses only the cards, a pencil, and a rubber band, that is, as far as the 
audience is concerned. No pads, slates, or other "outside" devices make their appearance to confuse the issue. 

In his left trouser pocket the performer has a half card, half of the Two of Clubs. In his right pocket is a heavy 
rubber band. Previously he has written at one end of the Two of Clubs in the deck, a dummy problem of three 
rows of three figures each, scribbling so that each row might be judged as by a different person. This set of 
figures he has summed up and the answer of 4 figures is remembered. It is suggested that the problem be formed 
to total 4 figures representing a date of historical importance, such as 1492, etc., so that it cannot be forgotten. 

Before going further it can be suggested that, if the performer wishes to present the feat impromptu when using a 
borrowed deck, he carry half cards from both regular and bridge size decks. The back of the half card is never 
seen. Just before this effect he does one which requires his absence from the room for a minute or so. During this 
time, he scribbles the problem upon one end of the proper card in the borrowed deck. Upon his return and at the 
conclusion of his other trick, he is ready to go directly into this one. 

Routine: In the beginning, the deck is mixed by three people who think of numbers at the same time. Upon 
taking back the cards the performer fans through the deck, removes the four cards to represent the total, one at a 
time, places them face down in order for revelation later. During this time he locates, and gets to the face of the 
deck, the written on Two of Clubs. The deck is closed and held in the right hand while the left looks for the 
rubber band, "to keep the deck intact." It is not in the left pocket so the cards are transferred to the left hand and 
the right hand dives into the right pocket and brings out the band. However, the actions have been but a ruse, for 
the left hand has palmed out the half card and has added it to the face card of the pack, covering the end of the 
card containing the writing. The band is placed around the pack and its width conceals the fact that a half card is 
on the face. The top and bottom halves of the Two of Clubs match, and who is there to think anything out of the 
way, or wrong? 

A fourth spectator now signs one end of the face card, and of course he is presented the end which represents the 
genuine card. The writing of the first three people is done on the opposite or fake half. 

Now the rubber band is removed with the right hand and given to the left to hold, as the right hand withdraws the 
genuine card and presents it to the fourth spectator for verification and adding. The rubber band is put back into 
your pocket by the left hand and the half card goes along with it. 

The total is called out, and one by one, in correct order, the face down cards are turned over. The performer has 
read correctly the minds of the three spectators. And not only that, he has added together their respective 
numbers to arrive at the inevitable total. 



Effect: The performer shows four cards to be blank on both sides. A spectator selects one, and places it in his 
pocket. The performer then riffles the ends of a deck of cards, and the spectator inserts his finger into the end of 
the deck and makes a note of one card. The name of this card is then found written by a spirit hand on the card in 
the spectator's pocket. 

Preparation: The card to be revealed is, of course, forced. For this we use one of Tom Seller's brilliant 
innovations. Take an ordinary playing card such as shown in Figure 1, and cut a half card as in Figure 2. This 
second card is more than a half card, as its length is as wide as the width of the whole card. This half card is 
fixed to one end of the face of the whole card as shown in Figure 3, and glued along its bottom edge to the side 
of the whole card as per the shaded section in Figure 3. 

This prepared card may be on top of the deck, or added after someone has shuffled the deck. A spectator puts his 
finger into the end of the pack when you riffle it. When this is done you take the top card and insert it into the 
break, as shown in Figure 4. Now the card below the crosswise card is noted, and this noted card will be the half 
card — the one you want to force. 

So much for the force. The four blank cards used in the effect need no preparation, being but 
ordinary white cards, blank on both sides. Do not use blank playing cards as they tend to cause the 
spectators to become suspicious. On one of the blank cards write in ink the name of the force card, and place it. 

writing side down, second from the top in the stack of blank cards. If you prefer, just sketch the outline of the 
card instead of writing its name. Both are effective. 

Routine: Introduce the four blank cards and proceed to show them blank on both sides as follows: Fan the four 
cards, writing side down, and then close the fan and hold the cards in your left hand, from above, with the fingers 
on one long side and the thumb on the other. The fingers curl underneath the packet and thus the little finger is in 
a position for a simple glide sleight, as illustrated. 


The bottom card of the packet is shown blank by turning the left hand, and then the hand turns back to its 
original position with the fingers facing the floor. This bottom card is now withdrawn by the right hand and dealt 
upon the table. In withdrawing this card, its top surface is seen to be blank, thus you have shown both sides of 
the card. The left hand again turns, showing the new bottom card blank, and then resumes its original position. 
This time the left little finger, aided as much as is necessary by the other fingers, pulls back the bottom card 
about an inch and the right hand takes the next card (prediction card) and deals it beside the first card on the 
table. Thus the prediction card, which you will later force, has been shown on both sides apparently. Now the 
remaining two cards in the left hand are shown and dealt in exactly the same manner onto the table beside the 

others. This handling of the blank cards is a Val Evans idea adapted from an ancient card maneuver, and fits into 
this routine in a very natural and offhand manner. 

"Point to two cards," says the performer. If the prediction card is one of them he tosses the others aside. If not 
among them he tells the spectator to throw aside the ones he has indicated. In either case two cards are left and 
the prediction is one of them. "Give me one card," next says the performer. If he is handed the prediction he 
continues without pause, "and into which of your pockets do you want to keep it for the time being?" And upon 
being told, it is put there. If the performer is given the blank card of the two he tosses it aside and tells the 
spectator to put the card into one of his pockets. 

Then follows the noting of a card. The spectator is asked to state whether or not he thinks the performer could 
have known what he was going to pick. He'll say "no." "In that case," replies the magician, "do you think that 
there might be the possibility of an invisible spirit knowing at which card you would look?" Such a question will, 
of course, elicit a negative answer, and it is then that the "spirit" does "prove" his presence by writing or drawing 
upon the "blank" card in the spectators pocket 



Effect: The performer gives out two decks of cards, still in their original wrappers. One deck has red backs and 
the other has blue backs. While these cards are being removed from their cases and shuffled, the performer gives 
a third encased deck to another member of the audience to hold. 

The first spectator is asked to select either one of the two shuffled decks for himself and to put it in his pocket. 
The performer places the remaining deck in his own pocket. Now both the assistant and the performer reach into 
their pockets, select a card and bring it forth. Without showing what card they have each drawn, they lay them on 
the table face down. The performer picks up the assistant's card and slides it into the deck in his own pocket. The 
assistant does likewise with the performer's card. Both now remove their decks and spread them, backs up, 
across the table. An odd red card is seen in the blue deck, and an odd blue card is seen in the red deck. These are 
both withdrawn and are found to match! Thus both have selected the same card. This is the first climax. 

The performer now turns to the second man who is guarding the odd deck of cards. He opens the case and sets 
the deck face down on the table. The second spectator then spells out his name, letter by letter, dealing off one 
card at a time. On the last letter, the card at that position is turned face up and shown. This proves also to be the 
duplicate of the two cards found the first time! 

Preparation: There are several subtle details contained in this method, which make the effect very simple to 

First, remove the Four of Diamonds from both the red and blue decks. Put them in your side coat pocket, facing 
the same way and towards your body. Remember which color is which. An alternate and probably better method 
would be to use the right trouser pocket. In the latter case, keep the cards at the top of the pocket so that you can 
pull the pocket out and show it is empty before placing the deck therein. After setting the cards as above, reseal 
the remaining 51 card decks in their original cellophane wrappers and cases. So far as the third deck is 
concerned, you can easily set this for the spelling finale just prior to the presentation. As you are using the Four 
of Diamonds, it's but the matter of a second or two to set this card in position from the top of the deck so that it 
will spell out to someone's name you know in the audience. 

Routine: Bring forth the red and blue decks, have them opened and shuffled separately. 
While this is being done, pass the third "spelling" deck to the person whose name will spell out the 
correct card later. Ask him to put it in his pocket for the time being. 

The spectator who is going to assist in the trick now selects either the red or blue deck and hands you the 
remaining one. Instruct him to place his deck in his pocket as you do the same with the deck he gave you. 
Instruct him to reach into his pocket, withdraw any one card and lay it, without looking at it, face down on the 
table. You apparently do the very same thing, but actually you bring forth one of the Four of Diamonds, being 
careful to withdraw the one that matches the deck you have in your pocket. Now, pick up the spectator's tabled 
card and place it in your pocket, where you immediately switch it for the remaining Four of Diamonds and insert 
this card into your deck. Do not remove your hand from your pocket yet, for you have to keep the spectator's 
card separated from the deck. Your assistant picks up your tabled card and follows your example by placing your 
Four of Diamonds into his deck. 

Ask the spectator to remove his deck and spread it face down across the table. You do likewise with your deck, 
having left the spectator's card behind in your pocket. The two opposite colored cards are removed from each 
spread and, of course, prove to be the same card. 

The second man holding the "spelling" deck, now spells out his name and brings the effect to its climax by 
turning up the Four of Diamonds on the last letter of his name. 



I think this version of the "Do As I Do" effect is the only one that allows you to repeat the general effect 
immediately with the same person, and at the same time "top" the first presentation. It is ideally suited for a 
mental routine. 

Effect: Two packs of cards are shown, a red backed one and a blue backed one. The assistant shuffles one deck, 
while the performer mixes the other. They now exchange packs, each takes a card from the center, remembers it, 
places it on top and then cuts it to the center burying it. The decks are again exchanged and each looks for the 
card he selected in his deck. When they are shown, they are both found to be the same card! 

Now the performer offers to repeat the effect. He takes the pack he is holding and places it behind his back. The 
volunteer now selects any card from the pack behind the performer's back and puts it into his own pocket. The 
rest of the pack is placed on the table. 

The volunteer then holds his pack behind his back, while the performer selects one, and places it face down on 
the table, or just holds it. The volunteer now squares up his pack, brings it around and places it on the table. 
When the two selected cards are matched they are found to be the same card! Thus, a climax is built up in a 
natural fashion and with telling effect. 

Preparation: Needed are three decks, plus a set of indexes for the "Cards from the Pocket" 
trick which are available at all dealers. Set up one of your red decks in the pocket indexes, leave the 
other red deck in its case, and set up the blue deck in the familiar Si Stebbins order or any other arrangement 
familiar to you. Pocket the indexes and you're set. 

Routine: The cards are removed from their cases and the red backed deck is handed to a spectator. While he 
shuffles, the performer false shuffles the blue deck. He notes the bottom card and then exchanges decks with the 
spectator. Each takes out a card, looks at it, puts it on top, cuts the deck and then the decks are exchanged again. 
Now while the performer is supposedly looking through the pack he now holds (the Si Stebbins set-up deck) for 
his card, he actually looks for his key card (the one he noted on the bottom of the deck) and starts to remove the 
card that is in front of the key card. This will be the other person's card, so he pulls it up in the fan a bit. Just 
before he remove it, he looks through the set-up to find where the spectator's card really belongs and cuts the 
deck at this point. He then removes the card that is projecting from the fan, which is the spectator's card and. 

saying that it is his card, he lays it face down on the table. After the cards have been shown alike, the performer 
replaces his card on top of the pack, and thus the arrangement is preserved and he is ready for the second part. 

The performer holds his cards in his hands behind his back, but stands facing the audience. He tells the assisting 
spectator that he is going to pass the cards from hand to hand and he would like to have the spectator select one. 
As he runs them from hand to hand, the performer mentally notes each card. As he had glimpsed the bottom card 
of the deck when placing it behind him he has no trouble starting his count at the top of the deck. Thus, when the 
assistant takes a card, the performer knows immediately what card it is. (The easiest method of accomplishing 
this is to use the subterfuge taken from the original Hugh Johnston manuscript on the use of a stacked deck. 
Mentally designate each of your right four fingers as a suit, in the order the suits are arranged in the deck. As you 
fan the cards from left to right, merely repeat to yourself the values or numerals as they go by, letting the fingers 
take their turns in rotation as they pull over the cards from left to right, aided by the left thumb above. Each 
finger thus comes into contact with a card. When the spectator removes one, the performer knows the value, and 
whichever finger is on the card at that point automatically designates the suit.) 

Tell the spectator to put the card he just drew in his pocket and then take the deck and set it on the table. As he 
does so, and while you are still facing the audience, you also place one of your hands in your trouser pocket and 
secure the duplicate card from the proper index. The assistant is now instructed to stand facing the audience with 
the red pack behind his back. Thus the assistant provides perfect cover for you to bring out the duplicate card 
palmed in your hand, and then pretend to remove it from the pack the assistant is spreading for you to make a 

The rest is showmanship. The performer holds his card with its back to the audience and asks the assistant to lay 
his deck on the table. The assistant now removes the card he has in his pocket, shows it to the audience, and then 
the performer turns his card around and shows he has selected the very same card. Nothing could be more direct 
and to the point! 



Effect: Two spectators, A and B, are seated opposite each other at a table. The performer hands a pack of cards 
to A, who shuffles and returns the cards face down on the performer's outstretched left hand. The second 
spectator B then cuts off any number of cards for himself, and the remaining lower half of the deck is placed in 
front of A. The performer stands at a little distance and directs each to deal five cards, face down, in a row before 

Both A and B now select one card from among those in front of him. Each notes his card and is told to remember 
it. Then each puts his card, face down, in among those spread out in front of his partner. (A's card goes in B's 
pile, and vice versa.) Each picks up the pile in front of him and shuffles them well. 

Both A and B are told to deal their five cards face up on the table. Each in turn is asked if he can positively, and 
without chance of failure, pick out his partner's selected card. The answer must be "No." It is quite obvious to all 
that the performer has had no part in the proceedings to date, but he comes to their assistance at this point, and 

"I have been standing at quite some distance from the table and consequently I do not have any idea as to what 
your two cards may be. However, I'll try to find them. I must depend upon mental vibrations, your reactions, and 
what recently has come to be known as extra-sensory perception. Look directly at me, please (to A). In your 
mind think of the color of your card, now the suit, and now the value. Lastly, repeat the name of your card to 
yourself silently. Thank you. Was this your brain picture?" 

With this sentence, the performer reaches into B's pile opposite, and picks up the correct card! 

Without a pause, the performer turns to B, and says, "Don't bother with the separate features of your card. I must 
start like that to become en rapport with the conditions surrounding us here. Just look directly at me while I 
count ten, and imagine your card as a large picture surrounding me." The performer counts quickly and evenly. 

"Thank you, too. It developed into a very clear image of the This one right here." The second card is 

picked from A's group and handed to B. 

Preparation: Before the test, select five cards from the deck you will use, any five cards arranged in the Si 
Stebbins order. I suggest that you always use the same five for speed. Deposit these five cards, in order, in your 
right trouser pocket, or hang them, faces to body, under the lower edge of your coat on the right side. A paper 
clip sewn or pinned there will hold the cards very nicely till you need them. 

Routine: Spectator A shuffles the deck and places it on your left palm. You turn to your right, swinging the left 
hand over for B to cut off a bunch. As he does so, your right hand drops to your side and steals the five cards 
from under the edge of your coat. Now swing back towards the left, pick the remaining half off of your left hand 
and drop the palmed cards on top of them as you do so. Lay these in front of A. Step away and proceed with the 
test, as described. When you come to the point where you have to step in, all you have to do is pick the strange 
card from among A's known set, and the "stacked" card from among B's. 



This effect is an easy version of the "You Do As I Do" effect, but avoids the exchanging of the two decks used. 

The deck handed to the spectator is arranged in "Si Stebbins" order, or any other favorite stacked manner. The 
one retained is a "Brain Wave" Deck of all blue backed cards with a short Joker on its face. The face-up card of 
the tenth pair from the top, or back, is turned face down. The spectator's deck contains no Joker. 

Instruct the spectator to duplicate all of your moves, only, however, after you have completed them. Cut your 
deck several times finally cutting it at the short locator card so it is once more on the face. Have the spectator do 
likewise. Fan through the cards until you come to the card previously turned face down. Separate the pack at the 
outer end at this point so that it forms a "V" retaining a grip on both portions, on the top of the lower portions of 
which is the reversed card. Remove it with right hand, and hold it still face down. Turn the deck over by 
revolving left wrist (the pack will appear O.K. since there are face up cards on both portions) push the card in 
between the two packets, square the deck and turn it face down again. 

Now, as the spectator repeats your moves with his deck, note the bottom card of top portion as he turns the pack 
over (he has to turn it toward you!). Figure one ahead in the stacking system and you know the identity of the 
card he is holding face down. 

There is a fifty-fifty possibility that you will have your deck facing the wrong way to show the duplicate of his 
card reversed. To make the effect 100% workable, just as the spectator begins to fan through his cards, draw off 
your short face card back up and use it as a pointer to demonstrate where and how his card is to be replaced, etc. 
This provides plenty of mis-direction if a turn-over of the pack is necessary. In either case, the Joker is then 
replaced so that becomes the face card of the deck. 

Cut your cards several times, finally cutting once more at the short card. Have the spectator cut as many times as 
you did. Fan through your deck face down until you come to the correct pair, i. e., the one containing the face up 
duplicate of the spectator's card, separate the cards and throw the reversed one upon the table. When the 
spectator locates his card, the two cards are seen to be the same. 

The trick can be repeated immediately if you replace your card in the deck face down at the same spot from 
which you withdrew it, remembering later where to find it and use it as your reversed card at the beginning of 
the effect. 

Since all of your actions take place first, a presentation can be employed in which you "teach" or "allow" the 
spectator to do a trick by himself. 



Effect: (1) The performer has any person freely select a card from a shuffled red deck, and another person select 
any card from a freely shuffled blue deck. When the chosen cards are named, it is found that both persons have 
selected the same cards. Both Jack of Diamonds! 

(2) The red deck is shuffled by one spectator and then placed in the performer's inside coat pocket. The other 
spectator shuffles his blue deck and places it in his own inside coat pocket. This person then reaches into the 
performer's pocket and removes any card. Now the performer reaches into the spectator's pocket and also 
removes one card. Once again the selected cards are alike! Both Eight of Spades! 

(3) The decks are again shuffled by the spectators, and a deck is placed in each of the performer's side coat 
pockets. He reaches into both pockets at the same time and removes a card from each deck. These two cards also 
are alike! Both Four of Diamonds! 

(4) The decks are again shuffled and each spectator places a deck in his own side coat pocket. The performer 
reaches into their two pockets, removes a card from each, and still the two cards are alike! Both Ace of 
Diamonds ! 

(5) For the climax, the spectators reach into each other's coat pockets and remove a card. And to the amazement 
of all, the two freely selected cards are the same! Both Ace of Spades! 

Preparation: The following cards and decks are arranged. Once made up they may be used over and over, for 
the effect will be an outstanding one on any program: 

1. A red deck consisting of all Eight of Spades, with a Jack of Spades on top. 

2. A blue deck consisting of all Aces of Spades, with a Jack of Spades on top, plus the following three prepared 
cards at any position in the deck where you may care to place them: The Four of Diamonds, a short card; the 
Eight of Spades, a long card, and an Ace of Diamonds, a wide card. 

3. A second red deck consisting of all Aces of Spades, plus the following two prepared cards at any position in 
the deck: The Four of Diamonds, a short card, and the Ace of Diamonds, a wide card. Before the routine, this 
deck is placed in your top right vest pocket. 

Routine: Here are the actual mechanics of the effects as described at the beginning. 

1. False shuffle and force the top card of each pack. Use any force you can do well. 

2. The only card the spectator can possibly select is one of the Eight of Spades. You can find the Eight of Spades 
in his blue deck easily because it's a long card. At the finish, bring out the deck in your vest pocket instead of the 
deck they saw you put in your inside coat pocket. 

3. Locate both of the Four of Diamonds (short cards), and remove them from your pockets. 

4. Locate both the Aces of Diamonds (wide cards), and remove them from the spectator's pockets. 

5. This works itself due to all cards in each deck being Aces of Spades. 

In conclusion, you will find the routine truly mystifying. The repetition only serves to heighten the effect, and 
the last coincidence really floors them. Even magicians fail to figure a force deck due to the number of times the 
coincidence appears. Work this one smoothly and with a bit of speed, and you'll never do a show without it, for 
it's one of the few card routines that can be presented under any and all conditions. 



Effect: The performer introduces two decks of cards, one of which he hands to a spectator. Both shuffle their 
own decks. The performer now covers his deck with a handkerchief, and the spectator cuts off a portion by 
lifting the portion through the cloth. The card below this cut, i. e., the one on top of the lower half being held by 
the performer, is laid aside. The spectator now is asked to cover his deck with the handkerchief. The performer 
cuts off a portion, and the spectator removes the card on top of the portion he retains and lays it on the table with 
the first card. The two freely chosen cards are now shown and are found to be alike! 

This effect is clean cut, and very practical for club audiences. Both shuffles are genuine, the decks are not 
confusingly exchanged, and the spectator's shuffled deck is never touched by the performer, excepting when he 
cuts it through the handkerchief. 

Requirements: One long card in a shortened deck is all that is needed. 

Routine: The pack given to the subject is the short deck with the long card. In your deck, on top or bottom, is a 
duplicate of this long card. Both decks are shuffled, and you finish your shuffle by bringing your duplicate card 
to the top, or retaining it there, as the case may be. Cover your pack with an opaque handkerchief, and under 
cover of this turn your deck face up. 

Ask the spectator to lift off a few cards but stop him before he removes this cut completely. This gives you a 
chance to reverse the lower half (actually the original upper half of the deck) as you ask him if he is satisfied 
with where he has cut. Then bring out the lower half, have him remove the top (force) card and lay it on the 
table. You take the handkerchief from him, reach under it, remove the cards he cut off, and toss them "on the 
table turned over. 

Now have the spectator square his deck, and. as you give him the handkerchief, note the position of the long 
card. Have him cover his deck with the handkerchief and hold it out so that you may cut off a few cards, exactly 
as he did previously. As you cut, you Can feel the long card through the handkerchief. Press down on the ends of 
the long card with your thumb, making a break, and cut off all the cards above it in one packet. This will leave 
the long card on top of the portion being held by the spectator. He draws this card off and lays it on the table, 
next to the first card. Naturally, when they are turned face up, they match! 



Removing from his finger an odd appearing ring the performer states that it has a peculiar occult power and 
originally was a valued possession of Merlin of legendary fame. It seems that after looking at the ring, a person 
sees the last object with which the ring came in contact, regardless of what other object actually is held before 
him. The performer offers to demonstrate this uncanny situation. 

Effect: A spectator is asked forward to act as a custodian of the truth. A pack of cards is mixed, spread across 
the table, faces down, and the spectator freely pushes out any one. The performer then touches the back of this 
card with the ring for a second, whereupon the card, without its face being seen, is dropped into a silver box and 
held by the assistant. 

The performer now has a person gaze at the ring for a moment. This person then selects a card from the fanned 
pack, notes it, and replaces it in the pack. 

A second spectator is approached and allowed to look at the ring. The deck is then rimed, he says, "Stop," and 
notes the card at that place. 

The third person looks at the ring, and then cuts the deck at any place. He looks at the card and the performer 
puts it into his own pocket. 

The performer now returns and gives the deck to the assistant holding the box. Each of the three assisting 
spectators is asked to stand and name the card he selected and looked at. All three say the Three of Spades. 

Calling attention to the fact that it could hardly be a coincidence that all three should look at the Three of Spades, 
and that they actually didn't, the performer explains that the ring has caused them to think they did. The 
performer asks the third man to reach into his (performer's) pocket and remove the card which proves to be a 
totally different one. Then he tells them that if all three men thought they saw the Three of Spades, that must 
have been the last thing that was touched by the ring. And the last object touched by the ring was the card that 
was put in the silver box and has been guarded by the custodian of the truth. This assistant looks over the deck 
and states that there is no Three of Spades in it. He opens the box and takes out the card for all to see. It's the 
Three of Spades! 

Requirements: A Petrie-Lewis card box and one duplicate of any card in the deck, for 
instance, the Three of Spades. Empty the right side trousers pocket and place any indifferent 
card therein with its face to body. Put one Three of Spades face down in the regular 
compartment of the card box, and leave the false compartment open in the lid. (Annemann 
suggests that it would be a good idea to carry the ring in this false compartment which will 
keep the lid from closing and be a good excuse for using the box.) The duplicate Three of Spades is 
placed on top of the deck, which is left on the table or handy in your side coat pocket. 

Presentation: Remove the card box from your pocket, take out the ring and patter along as described. Set the 
box and ring on the table; pick up the deck of cards and give them a riffle shuffle keeping the Three of Spades on 
top. Now ribbon spread the deck, face down, on the table and have someone push out any card. Without looking 
at this freely selected card, it is touched with the ring and then placed into the false top compartment of the card 
box which is closed and given to the assistant to hold. Drop the ring into your right coat pocket, and pick up the 
deck of cards. 

You now have to force the Three of Spades on three different spectators. For the first person, make the pass and 
use a straight fan force. If, by chance, you miss, have him pick three or four other cards and lay them all down on 
the table for the old elimination force. Bring the Three of Spades to the top of the deck again. 

For the second person, use the riffle force and slip the top card, the Three of Spades, to the center of the deck as 
you separate the halves at the point where he inserted his finger. After he replaces the forced card, bring it again 
to the top and go on to the third spectator. 

For this last force, hold the cards face down on the palm of your left hand. The third spectator cuts anywhere he 
pleases, reverses his cut off portion and replaces it on top of the lower portion. Your left hand, which has been 
holding the deck, now spreads the cards across the table and the spectator makes a note of the top card or the 
lower portion, i. e., the first face down card below the string of face up cards. He gets the force card on this, 
because as you spread the cards you turn your left hand face down to start the spread, which automatically brings 
the original top card of the deck, the Three of Spades, into the force position, although the spectator doesn't 
realize it. He naturally thinks the card he looks at is the top card of the lower half of the deck, marked by his own 
free cut. (This is a perfect force and beautifully deceptive. Ed.) 

This third forced card is handed to you and you deliberately put it in your right trousers pocket. As your hand 
comes out, however, you palm it and return it to the top of the deck. 

Now returning to the assistant who has the box, you hand him the deck of cards, minus the top card, the Three of 
Spades, which you retain in your palm. As you walk away from him, insert your right hand into your side coat 
pocket, and deposit the palmed card as you bring the ring forth. 

Continue with your patter story and have the three spectators stand in turn and announce the name of their 
individually chosen cards. They all name the same card, the Three of Spades, as already described. Now have the 
third man reach into your right trousers pocket and remove the card that is there. He brings out an entirely 
different card than the Three of Spades which he thought he had given to you to put there. 

For your climax, have the assistant holding the box lay it down for a second while he looks through the deck for 
the Three of Spades. After he announces that he cannot find it, he opens the card box and removes the card in 
question. Obviously it's been there all the time, thus proving your assertion about the influence of the ring! 



This item forms an effective opening for a mental act and requires but very little preliminary preparation. The 
effect is based on an idea suggested in Blackstone’s "Secrets of Magic." However, it will be seen that a 

( 15 ) 


new principle and method of handling is brought into play which will coo-fuse those who may know the older 

Effect: The performer shows a packet of cards, say from 50 to 100. Each card is blank on one side; the reverse 
side carries a six-figure number. The packet of cards is shuffled and several members of the audience each select 
and retain a card. The performer eventually names the numbers on the selected cards. 

Preparation: It is not necessary to memorize any numbers. Each card bears, in addition to the six-figure 
number, a serial number 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on, in small type on the same side of the card, and it is on these serial 
numbers that the six-figure numbers are based. 

In making up the six-figure numbers, as will be detailed further on, it must be carefully noted that the six-figure 
number and the serial number from which it is made do not appear on the same card. The six-figure number is 
always on the card next below (when packet is held number sides downwards). The six-figure number made up 
from the serial number on the bottom card of packet appears of course on the top card of the packet. From this it 
will be seen that on a card being withdrawn from the packet, a glance at the serial number of the card next above 
it will enable the six-figure number of the selected card to be built up and announced. Thus very little memory 
work is required. 

Make the cards as follows: Add 9 to the serial number and reverse the total for the first two figures of the six- 
figure number. (For example, serial number 36 — add 9 making 45 reverse and give 5-4 as the first two figures.) 
For third figure, add the first two together and give total (if more than 10 drop the figure 1). For serial number 
36, 5 plus 4 (first two figures) total 9. 

The fourth figure is obtained by adding the second and third. 4 plus 9 equals 13. Drop the 1 and give 3. 

The fifth figure is obtained by adding the third and fourth figures. 9 plus 3 equals 12. Drop the I and give 2. 

The sixth figure is obtained by adding the fourth and fifth figures. 3 plus 2 equals 5. 

Therefore the six-figure number made up from serial number 36 is 5-4-9-3-2-5. 

In making the cards, number each blank card first with a serial number, 1, 2, 3, 4 and so on, and then thoroughly 
shuffle them so that the numbers are not in consecutive order. The cards must henceforth always remain in this 
order and although the packet may be fairly cut, it must not be shuffled, unless falsely so. 

Now make up and letter the cards with their respective six-figure numbers as described, being certain that you 
make up a number from the serial number of one card and put it on the next card below. The accompanying 
illustration makes this all apparent. 

Routine: To present, the cards are falsely shuffled, a quite perfect method being that described in "Extra- 
Sensory Perception," page 157. A card is withdrawn by a spectator, whereupon the performer cuts the cards 
immediately above where the card has been withdrawn and, in passing to another person, the index or serial 
number of the bottom or face card is noted. A second selection is made and the cards are again cut and the key 
card noted. A third card may be selected if desired, but care must be exercised to ensure that it is not taken from 
a position immediately following either of the previous two selections. 

Remembering the index numbers noted, the performer then puts Ac packet aside, and returning to the first, then 
second, and lastly the third person, impressively reveals the number for each. The first can be revealed slowly by 
holding the spectator's pulse. The second is given in two parts, the first three and last three, the spectator holding 
his card to back of the performer's head. The last number is given completely at one time, as "Six hundred and 
fifty-one thousand, six hundred and seventy-three," the spectator having pocketed the card and then concentrates 
on the number as the performer looks directly at him. 

I originally used blank cards ( 1 3/4 x 3 inches) for this, but by using your own business cards with name and 
address on one side, a good thing can be made of it as the cards chosen can then be left with the three spectators. 
It is no job to make up the two or three missing ones after each performance. As you now know, the serial 
number gives no clue whatever to the six-figure number on the same card. 

Keep your packet of cards in some sort of a case, on the outside of which you have a list of the serial numbers in 
the order originally set. The missing cards can be replaced without any trouble or searching. 



Here is one of those infrequent ideas well worth the evening's labor to make up. 

Effect: The performer writes a prediction on a slip of paper and drops it into a hat. He next introduces a deck of 
cards, shuffles them and asks a spectator to think of any card. Fanning the deck before the spectator, he is asked 
to point to his mentally chosen card. This card is deliberately withdrawn and dropped, face down, into the hat 
with the prediction slip. When the name of the card is announced, a second spectator removes the card and the 
prediction slip from the hat and finds that they both correspond. The performer has, therefore, succeeded in 
predicting a card that was merely thought of! 

Preparation: Secure a new deck of regular (not bridge) size cards, several packages of cigarette papers, and 
paste-pot and pen and ink. Seat yourself at a well lighted table, and on 53 papers write in ink the names of the 52 

cards and the Joker, such as, "The thought of card will be the " These papers are folded, writing inside, 

once each way. 

As each paper is so prepared it is secured by a daub of paste, no larger than what can be applied with the head of 
a pin, to the lower right corner of the back of the card to which it refers. The illustration will make this part clear. 
The extra Joker or Score card is used to back up the deck and conceal the last paper. The use of cigarette papers 
keeps such a prepared deck from being too bulky, and. of course, the faces of the cards are well mixed. Now 
follow the presentation from start to finish and see for yourself how clean cut and direct this mental effect is. 

Routine: Writing a prediction upon a slip of paper, drop it, after folding, into a deep dish or hat. However, the 
paper is retained in the hand and is left in the pocket as you immediately reach for the deck in its case. 

A spectator is asked to step forward. Stand at his left. Tell him that you arc thinking of a card in the deck and 
that he is to look you directly in the eye and remember well the first card that enters his mind. Impress upon him 
that he is not to change his mind once that he has an impression. 

You remove the deck from the case which is tossed aside. Step forward a bit and turn towards the spectator 
which action turns your back somewhat to the audience. Fan the deck from left to right with the faces towards 
the spectator. He looks for the card of which he is thinking, and at the same time the audience sees quite a little 
of the backs of the cards. 

It is possible to further heighten the assumption that all is fair by using the subtle Hindu Shuffle described of late 
in several books on cards and explained fully with effects in Jinx No. 56. The deck is first shuffled with faces 
showing and front of deck held downwards with the attached papers at that end. The audience sees cards 
genuinely mixed, and several times the performer can show the backs (?) of the cards, saying, "The 52 backs are 
mixed also but as they all look alike I have my subject think of a face so that there can be no mistake." 

When the deck is fanned towards the subject he touches his card when he sees it. The performer immediately 
pulls it upwards in the fan about half an inch, saying, "This is the card you thought of while I was 
concentrating?" As he acknowledges the statement, or query to be true, you step towards the hat which is behind 
and to the right of the spectator. As you do this, say, "Then tell everybody what card flashed into your mind. I'll 
put it here with the prediction I originally wrote for you." 

You have cut the deck to bring the selected card to the back and you now are turned so that the face of the deck 
is towards the audience. At this point it is not necessary to be finicky or too particular about the audience seeing 
the cards. Remember that they have seen the deck fanned, and seen the spectator find his card. It is therefore 
impossible for you to do anything underhanded with the cards now. The card is withdrawn, keeping the paper 
attached covered with the fingers of the right hand and dropped into the hat, and at the same time the paper slip 
is dislodged by a squeeze between fingers and thumb. 

Pick up the hat with the same hand and give it to another spectator nearby. Ask him to name and show the card 
which the spectator thought of. Then have him remove the paper and read aloud what you predicted. 

Each performer will work out his particular method of presentation, I know, but it is suggested that you first try 
it as given here. 

For those who use only this one effect in their program which requires cards, the deck may be recased and put 
out of the way. For those who wish to continue with some other effect, there is ample opportunity for an 
exchange of the deck during the interval when the spectator takes the card and paper from hat to read.* 



Effect: For the first part of this effect do Brethen's "As In a Mirror Darkly," described above. Then announce 
that what you have just done was a test of prophecy, and that now you would like to show a test of mindreading. 
Hand the deck of cards to someone, ask him to shuffle them, cut them and then select one card. All this time you 
have had your back to him. Ask him to hold the selected card to his forehead and to concentrate on it. You turn 
around and, walking up to him and placing your finger tips on his forehead, you name the card! 

Preparation: Have another deck of cards, with backs to match the "Brethen Deck" on your table with the rest of 
your apparatus. This deck is stacked according to your favorite system. Si Stebbins, etc. 

Routine: Remove the Brethen deck from its case and toss the case onto the table, close to the stacked deck. 
During the finale of the Brethen trick, step back to the table, lay your faked deck down behind a crumpled 
handkerchief and. at the same time with your left hand, pick up the stacked deck and the case. You now are 
facing the audience at the very conclusion and excuse your assistant. 

Explain that you have shown a test of prophecy, although the critical people before you might not believe in that 
solution, and say that it was merely a matter of your will forcing the thought upon the spectator's mind. Put the 
deck into the case as you say this, and then decide to show how it is possible to read the mind of some willing 

Toss the encased deck into the audience and ask whoever gets it to come forward. He removes the cards and 
gives them a shuffle, but you hurry up the procedure to prevent the mixing of more than a few cards by saying, 
"Put the deck face down on your left hand." Then, as an afterthought, say, "You’ve shuffled the deck — now give 
it one complete cut." 

Continue, "Fook at the top card, whatever it may happen to be. Your selection has been made by chance with no 
conscious liking for any card, or my will-power influencing you. (Your back is turned during the cutting and 
picking off of the card). Hold the card against your forehead with your right hand covering it completely." Now 
you turn around and approach him. 

* (Note by Annemann: The self contained feature of Mr. Brethen's deck carries this mental effect quite a distance 
beyond any of its predecessors. When body work can be eliminated. It always helps both in presentation and 

Take the remainder of the deck from him and toss it on to the table. In doing so you glimpse the bottom or face 
card, count one ahead in the system, and you know what he is holding. Touch his forehead with your finger tips, 
and slowly reveal the color, suit and value of the pasteboard. Have him acknowledge that you are correct with 
each step. 

If wrong on any one of them, say that you won't guess, and that he isn't thinking hard enough. Hand him back the 
deck for a cut and a second selection. This never will fail twice, once you have become acute at letting a person 
shuffle and then stopping him by giving additional directions. I first published the idea in slightly different form 
back around 1932 and it has been featured by many performers since, especially the late Nate Leipzig. However, 
you take it for what it is worth to you, and I suggest it as a finish to the Brethen mystery so that the deck is 
handled and shown to be quite unprepared. 



Effect: The performer writes a prediction on a slip of paper and lays it aside temporarily. One spectator selects a 
card from a well-shuffled pack and remembers it. A second spectator withdraws a card and remembers the 
number of spots on it. The deck is now divided equally and the first spectator takes one half, the performer the 
other. The performer places his half in his pocket and the spectator looks through his half for his card, but can't 
find it. A third spectator puts his hand in the performer's pocket and finally selects a card as performer counts up 
to the selected number. This card is withdrawn and proves to be the selected card. The performer's prophecy is 
also correct, as is the number to which he counted. 

Requirements: A "single ender" deck of cards with 26 duplicates of one card cut short and with matching backs. 
For the sake of clearness let us suppose that the duplicate cards are Aces of Diamonds. 

Preparation: Stack the deck in your favorite order such as "Si Steb-bins" or "Eight Kings," being sure that the 
back designs of the deck all point in the one direction. Cut the cards so that the Ace of Diamonds is on top, and 
remove it. Now cut off 25 cards and place them in your upper right vest pocket. 

Reverse the order of the remaining 26 cards, so that what was the bottom card now becomes the top one. Place a 
duplicate short Ace of Diamonds between each card, with the result that you have assembled a typical "Svengali" 
deck in which the 26 ordinary cards are prearranged in your favorite order. 

Presentation: On a slip of paper write, "The Ace of Diamonds will be selected." Fold it and lay it on the table in 
full view. Remove the deck from its case, false shuffle it several times and have a card chosen by riffling the end 
of the pack for a spectator to insert his finger and withdraw a card. He will, of course, get a force card, the Ace 
of Diamonds. 

As the card is taken out, the portion of the deck above it is cut off and a second person asked to look at the card 
just below the first one that was removed. The spectator is to remember it as a number only, rather than as a 
card, i.e., the Nine of Hearts will represent the number 9, the Queen of Clubs, the number 12, etc., paying no 
attention to the suit. While this is being done, and both cards are being returned, secretly note the value of the 
card on the face of the cut-off portion in your right hand. Counting one value backwards in the stacking system, 
the performer immediately knows the value of the card chosen by the second person. The cards are returned to 
their original positions and the top portion is dropped on top and the deck is squared. 

The deck is handed to the first person who is asked to deal the cards into two face-down piles, one card at a time 
to each pile. This action separates all the Aces of Diamonds into one pile, and the ordinary cards into the other 
pile, at the same time reversing the stacked arrangement. The first spectator is now asked to indicate a pile, and 
the ordinary pile is forced on him. 

He is told that with 26 cards out of 52 he must stand a pretty good chance of holding his card. He is to fan 
through and see if it is there. It is not, so the packet is taken from him and placed aside for the time being. 

A third spectator is now requested to lend a hand. The pile of 26 Aces is picked up, still face down, and placed 
by the performer into his own inside coat pocket. The second spectator is asked to concentrate upon the number 
he has in mind. The third assistant is told to put his hand into the performer's pocket, and to grasp a different card 
for each number the performer calls out. He is to drop that card as the performer calls another number, then 
grasp another card, and to continue doing this as long as the counting continues so that when the performer stops 
counting he will be holding but one card. When the selected number is reached the performer stops counting, and 
tells the assistant to withdraw the card he is then holding and place it on the table, face down. 

As the performer turns to the second spectator to ask if that is the number he has in mind, his left hand 
apparently removes the remainder of the cards from the inside coat pocket. Actually, however, the performer 
removes the packet of 25 ordinary cards from his upper vest pocket where they have been from the start. These 
are laid on top of the pile lying on the table. 

Having received a confirmation from the second spectator that it was the correct number, the first spectator is 
asked to name his card. He answer, "The Ace of Diamonds." The third man turns over the card he withdrew from 
performer's pocket and finds that it is the Ace of Diamonds. 

Congratulating the third man upon his success, the performer remarks that he will have to be pretty good to top 
this feat, but that he thinks he has done so. Now have the prediction slip opened and there is the correct prophecy 
of the Ace of Diamonds. 

Add the Ace withdrawn by the third spectator to the top of the deck, and you have a full pack of cards which 
may be casually shown all different, yet which are now arranged in your favorite stacked order. 

Need we mention that some tricks with a set-up deck may now be performed; then a few with the "one way 
backs"; and as a final control there's still the "short" Ace for a key card effect! 



This effect will be found to leave a striking impression and. at the same time, will create unusual interest. In 
effect you ask everyone present to think of a card while you pass around a small pad upon which several people 
write the names of cards of which they are thinking. Someone else takes the pad, secretly crosses out any one of 
the cards listed, tears off the page and puts it in his pocket. You now state that you will attempt to take a thought 
photograph or thought image of the card which has been crossed out. Showing a blank playing card, you place it 
face down on a spectator's palm and ask him to place his other hand over it so that it will be completely isolated. 
The person who crossed out the card is asked to concentrate on it and to try to visualize it as clearly as possible. 

After a moment, the blank card is looked at and a faint impression of the Ace of Spades is found on the card's 
face. The person who has been concentrating says that is incorrect, whereupon you ask who was thinking of the 
Ace of Spades. Someone acknowledges this card and you request him not to think of it so intently, as he is 
shutting out the influence of the right card and is confusing the experiment. 

The ghostly Ace of Spades is now placed in a small envelope so as to further isolate it, and given back to be held 
by the assisting spectator. This time when it is looked at, a clearer impression of another card has taken the place 
of the Ace of Spades, and this new card impression is found to be the correct one. 

Requirements: A small pad without cardboard back; six playing cards including the Ace of Spades; five double 
pay envelopes; a pencil with a good hard rubber eraser. Your preparation consists in writing the names of five of 
the cards, in different style handwriting, on the top page of the pad, then reversing the pad so that the bottom, 
blank page becomes the top sheet of the pad in working. Now take five of the cards, excepting the Ace of 
Spades, and rub them over lightly with the eraser till the spots become somewhat faint and ghostly. This clever 
idea was originated by Larsen and Wright in their book, "Take A Card." Mark an X with your pencil on the 
upper right hand back corner of each card. Place these cards in the back section of your five double envelopes 

and put them in your right coat pocket in a known order. Bridge size cards fit the usual drug envelopes which 
should be used, although in some cases you may have to trim the sides of the cards a bit so that they will slide in 
and out of the envelopes with ease. 

Take the sixth card, the Ace of Spades, and erase it until it is even more faint than the others but still capable of 
being seen for some distance. Lightly daub two opposite corners of the face of the Ace with diachylon and stick 
it to the back of a blank face card. Place this double card in a card case which has a cover design matching the 
backs of the cards used. If you can't find such a case, just take the Joker from your deck and paste it on one side 
of the case, back out, and you are set. In the comers and center of the design on the card case smear a goodly 
quantity of diachylon. Place the case in your left coat pocket, or set it on the note pad on your table. 

Routine: Ask everybody present to think of a card. This will make certain that one or more in the audience will 
think of the Ace of Spades! With pad in hand, blank side up, pass among the spectators and have five people 
write the names of their thought of cards on the blank, top page. Many times the Ace of Spades will be one of 
these cards, but it doesn't matter as it is just as startling when someone else is found to be thinking of it. 

In going to the sixth person, the pad is turned over and, of course, one of the five forced cards is crossed out. 
You have turned your back as this is done. Now ask the person to tear off the sheet and keep it. There is no 
danger of his turning the pad over. However, if you are a little skittish, just tear off the force sheet yourself and 
hand it to the person to cross out a card and keep. 

After the card is crossed out, you remove the blank card from the card case and show it. You are holding the card 
case in your left hand, so you lay the blank card on top of it (over the design side) as you mark and X on the 
card's back in the upper right hand corner. To steady the card case while you are marking the card, you have 
inserted your left fingers into the case. Now press down on the back of the blank double card which will cause 
the blank card to adhere to the back of the card case. The top card (the faint Ace of Spades) can now be pushed 
off with the thumb, and the card case is tossed aside and out of the way. This is a perfect get-away. Place the 
card on someone's hand and have him cover it with his other hand. 

The person who crossed out a card concentrates. When the apparently blank card is turned over and shown, a 
faint impression of the Ace of Spades is seen. Ask if it is the right card, and allow it to be passed around. The 
person concentrating will disclaim this card. Say, "I seem to feel conflicting thoughts. Who has been thinking of 
the Ace of Spades?" When someone acknowledges this card, ask him to banish the thought of it from his mind 
for the time being. If, by chance, no one does acknowledge it, just remark that someone must have been thinking 
of it and has now changed his mind. Rarely, however, will this be necessary. Now say, "To make sure we don't 

go wrong again, what was the card you crossed out. The ? Thank you. Now will everybody please think of 

that one card. This time we'll isolate the card a little better." 

Remove the correct envelope from the pocket and seal up the Ace. After a moment, tear off the end, pull out the 
other card half way and let a spectator remove it. This time a better impression is seen of the correct card, while 
the faint impression of the first card has vanished. 

This is almost a card trick without cards and makes a stunning spirit test. One might ask why not have 52 cards 
in envelopes, but such a thing has been tried and the packets are too bulky to be practical. 

Editor's note: Ted Annemann used this trick with tremendous effect. It is one of the most intriguing and 
provocative tests of modern mentalism. With proper presentation it can be made one of your most talked about 
effects. Unlike its bigger brother, the Spirit Paintings, this trick can be done close up for intimate audiences — 
and is all the greater for it. It is an illusion in miniature, and is definitely different. We urge you to try it! 



Effect: The performer hands a spectator a deck of cards, asks him to shuffle them and then select any card he 
likes while he still has the deck in his own hands. The performer now turns his back and requests the spectator to 
hand him the selected card behind his back. Turning sideways to the audience, so that they may see the card is 
still in his hands, the performer reaches for a crystal ball on his table. He holds this in front of him with his free 
hand and by looking into it divines the name of the selected card. 

The crystal ball is handed for examination and, when it is returned, the performer sets it in its base on the table. 
He now has another card selected, after which he picks up the ball and stand and going to a likely subject has 
him gaze into the ball. Shortly the image of the card becomes visible and this person names it correctly! 


Preparation: A deck of cards, a crystal ball and stand, and an ordinary celluloid monocle upon the center of 
which is written, in index form, the name of a card. For our purpose we'll use the Two of Clubs, so on the 
monocle inscribe the figure 2 with a Club spot below it, just as it would appear on the index corner of a playing 
card. Now file notches around the edge of the monocle, so that it will be easy to palm, and place it in your right 
coat pocket. 

Routine: Let the spectator take the deck in his own hands and select a card. Turn your back and ask him to hand 
you the card. Turn to face the spectator and tear off and finger palm the index of the card in your right hand. Pick 
up the crystal with your right hand, turn sideways to the audience so they may see the card you are holding, with 
the torn corner covered by your left fingers, glance into the crystal and reveal the card from the palmed index. 
Bring the card around to the front, show it and pass out the crystal for examination. 

Reach into your right coat pocket, deposit the torn comer and palm the monocle. Pick up the deck of cards, bury 
the torn one you are holding and set the deck down. Then take back the crystal ball and set it in the stand, leaving 
the monocle under it as in the illustration. 

Now force the Two of Clubs and have the person put it in his pocket. Pick up the ball and stand and go over to 
one of the guests. Ask him to gaze into the ball and tell everyone what he sees. He names the Two of Clubs! You 
can now pass the ball out with your right hand as your left palms the monocle. 

What makes this such a nice effect is that the monocle cannot be seen through the ball, and the writing on it 
looks as if it were really inside the crystal. The slight curvature of the monocle aids also in keeping it close to the 



For those who liked "Before Your Eyes," page 168, then here's an impromptu method that makes a pocket trick 
of this effect. Use your own business cards instead of a slate. Write the words, "Ten of Hearts," on the back of 
the card in black crayon, spacing them as in the slate effect. Switch this card for one prepared according to the 
original trick with Frick & Fleming's "It's A Pip" liquid. Stick this card in your upper, outside coat pocket 
leaving a good two-thirds of it in view (the switch could be made at this point). Now force the Ten of Hearts on 
someone, and then take card out of breast pocket to show your prediction. The spirits evidently have not 
answered as yet, so just rub your thumb over the card and your message disappears leaving the correct name on 
the card! The spectator, of course, keeps the card as a souvenir and as an ad for you. 



Effect: Two spectators are chosen from the audience, and to one is handed a hat full of numbered cardboard 
squares. The performer offers these for examination and explains that they are numbered from 1 to 52. The 
assistant is told to mix them thoroughly, and from this point on the performer never touches them again. 

Now a pack of cards is given to a second spectator to be shuffled, and he is asked to stand to one side of a table. 
The first spectator holding the numbered squares stands at the opposite side of the table. The performer now 
moves away about ten feet, stands facing both assistants, and announces that he will write a prediction about 
events to happen. This prediction he writes, either on a pad or on a business card which he has just borrowed. 

The spectator with the cards we will designate as "A," and the spectator with the numbered squares as "B." "A" 
is now directed to draw the cards off the deck, one at a time, to hold them up before his eyes and to look intently 
at the face of each card. Then he is to drop it face down on the table without mentioning what card it is. 
Simultaneously, as "A" holds each card up, "B" reaches into the hat and draws out a number which he calls 

This procedure goes on until the performer calls, "Stop." "A" is now holding a card and "B" a number. The 
performer steps forward and hands his prediction to a third spectator who reads it. The prediction says: 

"When B' calls the number twenty-six, A' will be looking at the six of Spades" 

Spectator "B" has, of course, just called the number 26 and holds it in his hand, and spectator "A" holds up his 
card for all to see. This is the climax — it is the Six of Spades! This makes a new and different effect, and the best 
part of it is that all the numbered squares and the cards may be examined and will be found to be unprepared in 
any way. 

Requirements: The cardboard numbers are without preparation, and the spectator who has charge of them 
draws them freely from the hat. Some performers may prefer to use wooden counters numbered from 1 to 52, 
something like those used in the game of Lotto. The deck used is a Bicycle League Back deck, at the center of 
which is a three-wing design that makes a perfect reverse mark readable from a distance of ten to twenty feet. 
However, there are decks on the market now with picture backs that make excellent reverse designs without 
being too obvious. 

Beforehand, the deck is set with all backs pointed one way except for one card which the performer knows. This 
is the predicted card. The only necessary gimmick is one of the now popular thumb writers sold by all dealers. 

Routine: Follow it as already described with the performer giving the cardboard squares into the keeping of one 
spectator, and the deck of cards to another. As performer hands out the cards, he gives them a little overhand 
shuffle which will serve to "force" the spectator to mix them the same way without disarranging the backs. 
While the first spectator is looking over the numbered squares and the second fellow is shuffling the cards, the 
performer picks up or borrows a calling card, affixes the thumb nail writer in place and steps away a bit ready to 
write his prediction. (It might be mentioned here that Haden's "Swami Holdout," which delivers and does away 
with your thumbnail writer, can be used here with telling effect. This pencil holdout may be obtained from any 

To continue, the performer explains what's to be done; then writes his prediction, but leaves out the number. He 
puts the pencil in his pocket, holds the card in his hand with the prediction towards him, and stands watching the 
procedure with as much interest as the rest of the audience. Spectator "B" is calling a number for each card 
spectator "A" holds up and looks at, and the performer is watching for the reversed card to show up. The moment 
it pops up, he calls out, "Stop," and at the same time fills in the number just called with his thumbnail writer in 
the space he had left vacant in his prediction. Stepping up to a third spectator, the performer hands him the 
prediction card and asks him to verify what he has written. This person reads aloud what performer has written 
and the person with the deck turns over the card he is holding. Both the card and the number called coincide with 
performer's prediction! 



Effect: The performer hands a pack of cards to the spectator with the request that he fan it and choose one card 
mentally. He is then given a slip on which to write the name of the card. This slip is burned and the mentalist 
picks up the deck, fans it, draws out a card and lays it on the table. The mentally selected card is named, and the 
one on the table is turned face up and found to be it! 

Routine: In your left coat pocket have a deck of cards and a match or two. Give the pack to a person with the 
request that he look them over and merely think of one. Take back the deck and put it in your pocket again. 

Hand him a slip of paper with the request that he write down the name of his thought-of card. Then he is to fold 
the paper once each way. You take it from him, holding the closed corner of the doubly folded paper to the upper 
left and tear the paper through center the long way. Put the outside or right-hand section in front of the other 
piece and tear these in half. Put the right hand pieces in front and the left thumb draws back with the folded 
middle of the slip still untorn. The right fingertips take the loose pieces in view, and deposit them on an ashtray, 
as the left goes to coat pocket, leaves the torn-out center and brings out a match. The match is given to the writer 
to bum the pieces. 

Now, as the paper burns, your left hand drops to your pocket and opens out the torn center portion of the slip 
against the face of the pack. Bring out the pack slightly spread, and fan it towards you. Pretend to look over the 
card, as you read the writing on the torn center piece. Now draw out the correct card and place it face down on 
the table. Return the rest of the deck to your pocket together with the paper. The thought-of card is named as you 
turn over the one you placed on the table, which proves to be the correct card! 

This will be found as fine a way as any of doing a "thought card" trick without impressions, switches, 
guesswork, pumping, or preparation of any sort. 



Of all the bare-face swindles to cross my path, I consider this original effect of Mr. Solomon's worthy of the 
highest award. I only fear the reader will think it all too simple, and not give due consideration to the effect upon 
the witnesses. I believe it to be the acme of drawing room conceptions. 

Effect: The performer has a deck of cards, a gummed sticker, a pencil and a piece of paper. He starts by taking a 
card from the deck, for instance, the Two of Diamonds, on the face of which he makes a notation and covers the 
writing with the sticker. Asking someone for his initials, they are written on the sticker, and the card is placed 
face down on the table. Fanning the deck, a spectator selects and pockets a card. Placing the deck on the table, 
the performer leaves the room from where he directs the proceedings. 

Someone is asked to call out a number from 5 to 50. Whatever the number may be, he is asked to count down in 
the deck to that position and remember the card. The performer then tells him to shuffle the deck again, and to 
write the name of the card looked at on the piece of paper. 

Another person is now asked to name any card that comes to his mind, and this is also written on the paper under 
the name of the first card. 

Lastly, a fourth person is requested to name any three numbers from 1 to 100 and. after doing so, he is asked to 
write them on the paper directly below the names of the two cards. 

The performer now suggests that the deck be squared following a good shuffle, and be placed 
face down on the table. On top of the deck is to be placed the sticker card, also face down. The 
tabulated paper is to be turned over with the writing side down. 

Reentering the room, the performer picks up the deck and, after asking if his requests have been followed, turns 
the top sticker card face up on the table and, on either side of it are dealt the next two cards face down. The first 
spectator, who counted down to a number, names his card, and the performer turns up the first of the two face 
down cards and it's the correct card! The second person, who mentally selected a card now names it, and the 
performer turns up the other face down card, and that, too, is correct! Next the performer looks at the person who 
has a card in his pocket and names it correctly! Lastly, the person who wrote the three numbers is asked to add 
them and announce the total. The initialed sticker is torn off of the Two of Diamonds, and the performer is found 
to have correctly predicted the sum! 

Preparation: The only things needed arc two duplicate decks of cards, two stickers, a pencil and a sheet of 
paper. The two decks must be stacked alike. Use your favorite system, or shuffle one deck and then arrange the 
other deck in the same order. On the top of each deck have the Two of Diamonds, followed by a card you know. 
Keep one deck and one sticker in your pocket. The audience is not to know of this deck. 

Routine: Come forward with the other deck, remove the Two of Diamonds and pretend to write a prediction on 
its face. Cover your prediction with the sticker by moistening only the edges of the sticker, so that it may be 
removed easily later. Lay this Two of Diamonds to one side, face down, on the table. Write someone's initials on 
the sticker. Force the next card, the one you know, and have it placed in someone's pocket. Put the deck on the 
table and leave the room. 

The moment you are out of sight, remove the other deck from your pocket together with the sticker. Write on the 
sticker the same initials you noted on the sticker which you stuck to the card in the other room. Next a number is 
named aloud and while it is being counted to, you do the same with your duplicate deck and remove the card. 
When a card is named, remove that also from your deck. When the three numbers are called out, add them 
quickly and write the total on your Two of Diamonds. Now stick your duplicate sticker over this number. All of 
this will take but little time and you will have ample opportunity while the folks in the other room are noting the 
same information on the sheet of paper. 

Before you reenter the other room, remove the top card of your deck (the duplicate of the card forced) and place 
it in your right pocket. Place the deck of cards in an upright position in your left pocket. Now palm the two 
duplicates of the selected cards, in the order in which they were chosen, with the sticker card as the top card of 
the three. 

When the folks in the other room announce that everything is in order and the deck has been squared up, you 
enter, move directly to the table and pick up the deck, adding the three palmed cards as you do so. Ask if 
everything has been followed. As you ask, turn over the top card with sticker and lay it face up on the table. This 
is a subtle point for they have all seen the sticker card on top a minute before! The initials also are another 
misleading factor. Then deal the next two cards, face down, one to the right and one to the left of the face up 

card. As you ask for the name of the first card counted to, your left hand drops the deck into your left pocket so 
that it lays on its side. At the same moment your right hand turns up the first face down card. Ask for the name 
of the second card and turn this one up also. Then turn to man with the card in his pocket and name the card. 
Next ask to have the numbers added. While this is being done, you take the duplicate deck (the upright one) from 
your pocket, shuffle it carelessly and lay it on the table. When the sum is announced, have someone pick up the 
Two of Diamonds, remove the sticker and your prediction is found to be correct. Everything may now be 
examined, and when the first selected card is returned, the deck will be a complete one. 



This is one of those ingenious effects of the type that Ted Annemann revelled in. It's the perfect phone test and is 
completely inexplicable to laymen and magicians alike. However, the simplicity of the code used makes it an 
ideal two person mental test for nothing need be memorized — the medium relying solely on a short printed list 
for her information. 

Effect: The performer offers to try a thought projection test over the telephone, and before he commences he 
gives the medium's telephone number to the person who is to act as the subject. The performer then draws a 
series of five extra sensory perception symbols (see "Yggdrasil" on page 241) on a piece of paper, and asks the 
subject to make a mental note of but one design. As soon as the subject decides upon one, he picks up the phone 
himself and calls the medium. She correctly names the symbol selected! 

The subject is then invited to try another test. He selects several playing cards from a deck, looks up and 
encircles any word in a magazine, and then calls the medium again. She asks him to concentrate on the word, 
then she names it! When he admits that she is right, she follows right along and discloses the names of the cards 
which he selected, as well! 

So much for the effect, which is a stunner in that it may be done impromptu at any time. Of course, I have 
already tipped my hand by mentioning a code in the opening paragraph, but frankly it is very simple and easy to 
work. It's the combination of drawings, word and cards that serves to make it look complicated to the audience, 
and it is these very factors that creates the mystery by keeping the subjects mind busy. 

The E.S.P. Symbol Projection 

The five designs you use are those made famous by Prof. J. B. Rhine of Duke University in his extra-sensory 
perception experiments. In order they are: A Circle, a Cross, a set of Wavy Lines, a Square and a Star. 

To start, you draw these designs on a sheet of paper. Ask the subject to look them over as long as he cares to, and 
finally choose any one. If he takes one of the first three, you ask him to call your wife, or the person who is 
acting the part of the medium, and ask her what is on his mind. If he takes one of the last two, you tell him to call 
and ask her which one of the drawings he is thinking about. Thus he either gives away the fact that he has 
something on his mind (symbols 1, 2 or 3), or that he is thinking of a drawing (symbols 4 or 5). This detail takes 
care of segregating the symbol cards into two groups, and is the first thing the medium must know. 

If the subject mentions drawings, the medium starts by telling him it is some kind of a simple diagram. She 
knows its either 4 or 5, but needs a little more information to determine which one. If he asks "which," or 
mentions "drawing," she continues. 

She asks him to think of it and then tells him he'd better draw it quite large on a piece of paper and look at it 
intently. He can either reply that he has already done so, or take a few seconds out to do it. His reply or action 
gives a further clue. She knows it is one of the symbols in the second set (4, 5), and if he has already drawn it, 
the answer is 4. If he hasn't drawn it, the answer is 5. In such a case she lets him do it, tells him to concentrate, 
and then reveals the identity of the drawing he has made. 

If, on the other hand, the medium determines from the opening conversation that she must work in the first set 
( 1, 2, 3), she immediately suggests drawing it. If it is not already on paper she knows it to be 3. But if he replies 
that he has drawn it, she knows it to be 1 or 2. And then, to get the final result she asks him to burn it. And he 
either has done that very thing, or hasn't. If he says he has, the answer must be 2. If he takes time out to do so, it 
must be 1. We have used figures in explaining this, but, naturally, the medium's talk is always about the 
drawings themselves. Here is the set-up which the performer knows and which the partner has beside the phone. 

(1) Circle — what? On paper — not burned. 

(2) Cross — what? On paper — burned. 

(3) Wavy lines — what? Not on paper. 

(4) Square — which? On paper. 

(5) Star — which? Not on paper. 

The performer, on the scene, has operated a bit backwards according to the chart. Thus if the "cross" were to be 
chosen he would ask the person to draw it on a sheet of paper, look at it for a full minute intently, and then bum 
it and imagine he can see the diagram in the smoke. Then he would be told to call up the psychic and ask her 
what's on his mind. 

On the other hand, should the Square be selected, he would be told to draw it, concentrate upon it, and then be 
told to call and ask which of the drawings he is thinking about. 

The beauty of using the five Rhine symbols for the test lies in the fact that they are a logical group as a whole. A 
query as to which is being thought about does not seem to be strange, as it might if any other small group of 
unrelated objects were used. 

If once out of a hundred times, something goes amiss and the subject's initial request is wrong 
or not clear, the medium has an even chance of things working out as she continues. If it hits, 
all well and good — but if she misses, she immediately says she's sorry and "will you please ask the 
performer to try something else with you and call me back? I've had a lot of things on my mind today. I'll wait 
for the call, if you will." 

The subject, not knowing you would have done another test immediately anyway, is carried along into the next 
test which can't very well fail! 

The Word Projection 

So much for that part. The subject is given a copy of a current magazine. I suggest Reader's Digest because it's 
coat pocket size, but most any magazine or book will do. As he looks it over you take out a deck of cards, 
shuffle, and place them face down before him. The subject is asked to cut them once or twice, and then deal 
three cards in a face-up row from left to right. If a picture card shows up among them, the performer pushes them 
aside, saying, "Try three more. Picture cards are too confusing to use." This action is repeated until three cards 
are dealt with no picture cards showing up. Then the subject is told to consider the first two cards as indicating a 
page in the magazine. Thus if an 8 and a 3 showed up, the page would be 83. When the page has been found, the 
last, or third, card indicates the word, counting from the beginning of the reading matter on the page. 

This principle was devised by me several years ago for a book test. Here it serves as a book test again, but has 
been extended for use over a phone and the naming of the cards. Use a deck stacked in the Si Stebbins order. 

Each card is three above its preceding card in value, and the four suits rotate in the order of Spades, Hearts, 
Clubs and Diamonds. 

If the instructions have been followed there are only four possible words that can be selected in the magazine 
used. This is probably the most subtle psychological part of the stunt! By discarding all combinations containing 
a court card, but four combinations of three cards remain. The four combinations, and the word each designates 
are as follows: 

A, 4, 7 Locates the seventh word on page 14 

2, 5, 8 Locates the eighth word on page 25 

3, 6 , 9 Locates the ninth word on page 36 

4, 7, 10 Locates the tenth word on page 47 

With the one man version as explained in "Between the Lines," page 53, the performer turned his back during 
the selection of cards and word. In this instance he watches the proceedings which eliminates any chance of error 
by the spectator. It is needless to say that the medium has the four words listed, together with the values of the 
three cards which locate them. 

With only four possible words from which to choose, the performer resorts to the dodge of having the subject 
call and ask either "what" he has on his mind this time, or that he is "thinking of a word." That is as far as the 
revelation goes, however. In the first case, "what" signifies to the medium that the word is on a left hand page, 
or, 7 on page 14 or 9 on page 36. In the second case she is made aware that the word is on a right-hand page, in 
short, either 8 on page 25 or 10 on page 47. 

With this much to go on, she asks the person to concentrate (in the first case revealing that he is thinking of a 
word) and then names the first letter of one of the two words. If she hits it, all well and good. If she doesn't she 
merely asks him to try the last letter and then she names the last letter of the other word and works backwards. 
Thus she reveals what almost seems to be impossible except for telepathy. 

The Card Projections 

The performer put over a very cute bit of business just before the gentleman phoned. He picked up the three 
cards used to find the word, keeping them in order with the smallest valued card at the back, and put them into 
the subject's right hand coat pocket with their faces nearest his body. After naming the chosen word, the medium 
turns her attention to the cards. She says, "How did you pick the word? By mixing up numbers or with a deck of 
cards?" Then she says, "Where are the cards now?" And then she says, "Take just one out of your pocket and 
look at it very intently. " 

The old dodge of having cards thus removed from a pocket holds good here. The subject never fails to reach in 
and bring out the cards in order, starting with the outside one first. It is very difficult for him to do anything else. 
The medium now makes a stab in the dark at the color of it. She knows the value because of the word giving her 
the "value" identity of all three cards. If right, she then names a suit. If wrong on color she makes a stab at one of 
the other color suits. And if wrong all the way, she says, "I'm not getting a good impression at all. You must be 
getting tired. All I can see are hazy spots." And she names the correct number. 

Then she says, "Take another card out and try to picture yourself either wearing a big diamond, shaking a big 
club, digging with a spade, or receiving a valentine in the shape of a big heart." And immediately she names the 
suit correctly. This is no trouble, for after getting the suit of the first of the three cards she knows what the other 
two are because of the stacked order. And the naming of the last card is no more difficult except that she asks 
him to keep it in his pocket and she will try to project her mind to that very spot and attempt to name it! 

The performer can even add to things by saying that he doesn't care to know the word himself. And so the 
mystery is unfolded. Drawings, a word, and cards have been revealed from a distance! 



I consider this a very practical and mystifying little conception with a big effect. It is impromptu and can be done 
anywhere at any time, something pretty rare for worthwhile effects of this nature. It can be learned with an 
assistant, in five minutes, which is another point in its favor. 

Effect: No apparatus is needed. Any pack of cards is borrowed from the host or hostess. 
Mixing the cards, the performer requests that the assistant, or medium, be sent to a distant 
room for the time being. He now states that one person must be chosen and, so that it may be 
left entirely to chance, he will deal the cards around to each until the first Ace shows up which 
will automatically elect him. This is done. This selected person is asked to look through his pockets (or her 
pocketbook) and take out some small personal article which he is to hide somewhere in the room, but not on the 
person of anybody. This person then selects someone else who is asked to select a card from the deck. The deck 
is placed face down on the table and the second spectator inserts his card at any spot, squares the cards and 
leaves them there. Now the performer leaves the room before the return of the medium who spreads the deck 
face up, moves her hand across the cards and picks out the selected one. Following this she moves around the 
room and locates the article. Once more in circling the room, the medium gives the article to its owner! 

Preparation: Nothing but the cards is used at any time. Previously the performer and the medium have agreed 
on a force card, and also who is to be the first subject. Starting at some spot, the people present are numbered 
from left to right around the room. The performer, who is doing another trick or so, has ample opportunity to set 
an Ace to fall on this person. If there are five people present, and the subject is number three, the Ace can be 
placed eighth from the top to hit him on the second round. 




— z 






Routine: The subject is asked to select some small personal object from his pockets and to hide it anywhere 
within the room. While he does this, the performer gathers up the cards, and runs through them, remarking 
offhandedly that the loker is the only card with a bad influence and should be out of the deck. Really though, he 
looks for three cards, cards which will tell where the article is hidden! Impossible? Not at all. Imagine the room 
as being divided into four squares by lines running through the center each way. The sketch will make this point 
clear. Then imagine each of those squares being divided the same way, and then each of these smaller squares 
divided again. Supposing the article were hidden behind something in the far right corner of the room. The 
numbers 2 — 2 — 2 would signal the medium into this very corner! 

It will thus be seen that three figures can direct your medium to any small portion of the room. She also knows 
the article to be small, knows it to be of a personal nature, and knows that invariably it will be an object that is 

obviously out of place wherever it may be. Knowing these things, and the spot where it lies, it is no trick at all to 
locate it successfully. 

The performer therefore runs through the cards and brings to the top in correct order three cards that signal the 
correct imaginary squares from the largest to the smallest. And at the same time he locates the card to be forced 
on the second subject! This person is now picked by the first person and. in his best liked way, the performer 
forces a card. Putting the deck face down on the table, he asks that the card be returned to any spot, the deck 
edges squared, and cards held by the selector. Then be leaves the room. 

The medium returns, spreads the deck face up on the table and after "the business" picks out the card. A glance 
at the top three cards of the deck and the medium solves the three number combination that gives her almost the 
exact spot where the article is hidden. She walks aimlessly around the room and gradually works into position 
and locates the object. Then, knowing who the owner of the article is, it is returned after another walk around the 
room. Whereupon the performer is called back to rejoice, and highballs are in order. 

The effect is excellent subterfuge. The only thing that is ever remembered is the location of the object and the 
return of it to the owner. The use of the cards is incidental, and the card selection accepted as a fill in, and a use 
for them after the first part. You will find that they are forgotten immediately afterwards and the article business 
discussed all by itself. 



Here's an idea for communicating silently with your partner or medium by signalling with your eyes. The code is 
not complicated and it may be learned in a few minute's time. 

Sit or stand opposite your assistant. Catch her eye. That's dead center. Now shift your glance to the right of her 
head, say about a foot. Shift your glance to the left or her head about a foot without stopping on dead center or 
catching her eye. Then check with her that she has seen your glances. It's amazing how just a bit of a side glance 
registers on another person who is looking at your eyes. 

Next glance directly above her head about a foot, and. staying on this new level, glance to the right and then to 
the left. Lastly look to a spot a foot below her eyes, and then cover the right and left positions. 

This gives a square of nine positions with the assistant's eyes always determining dead center, or the center 
square. And before going any farther determine once and for all time whether your assistant wants the squares 

1 2 3 

4 5 6 

7 8 9 


3 2 1 
6 5 4 
9 8 7 

depending upon whether she wants to count them from left to right or right to left. Five is the only square not 
affected by the change. 

The figure 0 is signalled simply by letting the glance go away out of the phantom square of nine. The stop is 
when the performer's gaze drops to his hand or hands. 

Now take a deck of cards, but for the moment pay no attention to the faces of the cards. Fan them before you and 
an imaginary spectator. You both are facing your assistant who is at a little distance facing you. Look at the 
spread of cards and think of a number of two figures. Glance up carelessly and let your gaze hit the proper 

square for the first figure and then shift (without moving your head) to the second position. Then it drops to the 
fan of cards again, and your assistant should now have that number, i. e., any number from 1 to a hundred. For 
repeats of the same figure the gaze merely does a repeat — first to the number, to the hand, and immediately back 
to the number, and back to the hand. 

Practice this for the next half hour and let the assistant call out the numbers as sent each time. Then consider the 
cards. The first thing to do is give the suits a value. For example: Clubs — 0; Diamonds — 13; Hearts — 26; 
Spades — 39. That's all! 

When a card in the fan is indicated to the performer by a spectator he notes the suit, remembers the value for that 
suit, adds to it the pip value of the card, and sends that total to the assistant. She merely subtracts from the 
number received the nearest suit value which is less than the number transmitted. That leaves her with the pip 
value, and the number subtracted indicates the suit. Thus if the Queen of Hearts were chosen. Hearts would mean 
26 to which would be added the pip value of 12. The total is 38 and that is sent. The next value less than 38 is 26 
whereupon the medium subtracts 26, indicating Hearts, and gets a remainder of 12 which tells her all she has to 

A variation of having a spectator indicate a card facing both him and the performer would be to have one chosen 
from the deck, noted and returned. Just before this the performer would make it clear that he would like the 
spectator to ask the medium himself, and in his own words, the identity of his pasteboard after the performer had 
concentrated for a moment. The card returned would be shuffled to the top or bottom and glimpsed while the 
pack was being squared on the hand. A glance at the spectator would get him started and a follow up glance at 
the medium, as the spectator puts his question, would do the trick. 

On the other hand, the performer might be up against another condition where the spectator might like to keep 
his card. Mentioning that he may pocket the card he takes, the performer, having noted the top or bottom card of 
the mixed deck, glances her way and transmit the card. She, of course, being ready after such a remark. Then the 
card is deliberately forced and she names the card without hesitation. 

Once learned by two people, this system will never be forgotten. Even if not used for months it cannot help but 



Many times I’ve been asked for a good practical method for coding cards. I’ve always been a believer in verbal 
codes for real practical work. Of course, there are times when a silent code can be used to good advantage, but 
for general use I advise the verbal type. Mr. Meyer developed the following code. I like it and believe many will 
make use of it. Certainly, the wife or sweetheart who is invariably cajoled into assisting won’t be able to use the 
common excuse that there is too much to remember! 


"Tell us” — Diamonds. 
“Now tell us” — Clubs. 
"Tell me" — Hearts. 
"Now tell me” — Spades. 




1 2 3 

4 5 6 7 8 9 

10 J Q 


(Silence) "Yes” 






"That's right" 



"You're right" 


"The card" 

Now for an explanation with examples. The selected card is known to the performer by whatever method he 
wishes. He may have it drawn from a face up deck or he may use a stacked pack and after a free selection a 
glimpse at the next card will give him the same information. This is no doubt best, because the performer 
apparently never sees the card. The assistant may be standing or seated with back to audience. The use of a 
blindfold is optional. 

Asking the assistant to name the card being thought of gives her some definite information, but this offhand 
query always sounds the same to the audience if they are acute enough to notice. After this first question by the 
performer the assistant replies but always withholds part of her knowledge, and thus gains the name of the card 
by the performer's answers or his silence as the case may be. 

Example: Suppose someone selects the Five of Hearts. The performer says, "Tell me what card this gentleman is 
thinking of." "Tell me" indicates that the card is a Heart. The key word "what" indicates that the card is among 
the lower six in value. Had the performer said, "Tell me the name of the card," the assistant would then know 
that it was one of the higher six, or from the Seven to the Queen. 

Knowing definitely the suit of the card, the assistant now reveals only the color. She says, "It is a red card," and 
waits for the performer's immediate reply. As will be seen, the group one to six is divided into two groups of 
three each. The performer's reply or silence to this first statement by assistant informs her which group of three 
contains the card. In this case there is no reply and after a few seconds, she knows that the card is in the second 
group of the lower six, either the four, five or six. However, she remarks, "The person is thinking of a Heart." 
Once mores she listens for the reply which will indicate the actual card. One of the three is to be transmitted as 
per the lower table under 1, 2, and 3. Any reply consisting of one word shows that the chosen card is the first in 
the final group; any reply of two words will make it the second; and no reply at all makes it the last of the group 
of three. In this case the performer says, "That's right," giving her final knowledge. She finishes with, "and the 
name of the card is the Five of Hearts." 

One more example will clarify the procedure. This time we shall take the Seven of Clubs. The dialogue is as it is 

Performer: "Now tell us the name of this card. 

Assistant: "It is a black card." (Knowing it to be a Club and one of the two higher groups). 

Performer: "Yes." 

Assistant: "In fact it is a Club." (Now knowing it to be the 7, 8 or 9.) 

Performer: "Yes." (Which indicates the 7.) 

Assistant: "And I'm sure it is the Seven of Clubs." 

Kings are always sent in the initial sentence by saying "the card" instead of "what" or "the name." Thus a King 
can be rattled off in the same manner but without the performer ever saying a word more. 

Practice on this for half an hour will make it easy. Try to make it natural and don't ask the questions stiffly with 
emphasis or make the replies as though a life depended upon them. Try to answer back immediately so that there 
is no break in the continuity of the assistant's speech. Make it look as though she reveals the card practically all 
at once with no delay. Watch these points and you have as nice a code as you could want. Do it four or five 
times, then vary or finish by forcing a card you have both agreed upon beforehand and without a single word 
being spoken she names it. It is a little twist at the last moment that will always befuddle the wise guy who may 
think of a code. 



No originality is claimed for the separate components of this startling performance, but the arrangement is 
original and all that could be desired. We will describe it as a complete performance, but it might better be 
presented in parts that appeal to the individual reader and arranged in a smooth running performance. 

When having several cards drawn have each spectator keep a written note, for the cards are apt to be forgotten. 
One, or two at the most, card tests are enough for any performance. There is no verbal code, and every test is 
simple to learn although a certain amount of rehearsal is necessary. I have used every test explained with fine 
results, and the information is conveyed to the medium in so many different ways as to make detection 

Effect: The performer announces a few tests of telepathy and steps into audience with a pack 
of cards on a napkin-covered tray. Anyone cuts and deals 25 onto the tray and the performer 
pockets the rest. The tray is carried along and five spectators each select a card. The last 
selector takes the pack and shuffles back his card, handing it to one of the others who does 
likewise until all cards have been shuffled by the spectators themselves. The tray is handed 
off to assistant (later the medium) who gives the performer a pack of envelopes and pencils. Each 
envelope contains a slip of paper and these are distributed with the pencils. The shuffled cards are handed to a 
spectator, who is requested to take them up to the platform and spread them out in five rows of five cards each 
along five cleats which are attached to a sort of drawing board standing on a chair seat to right of the audience. 

The persons having envelopes are all asked to write the name of some living person except one, who is to write 
the name of someone deceased. A volunteer collects the sealed slips in a borrowed hat and holds it till later. The 
medium is now introduced and blindfolded. At the center of the platform, well forward, is a blackboard, and to 
its right, but a foot farther back, stands a small plain table on which various articles lay, as will be described 

A committee of two leads the medium from the room to prevent communication. When she has left, the 
performer brings forward a slate and chalk. Three spectators each write a three digit number, and a fourth initials 
the slate. Without exchange, it is placed number side down on the table, and a glass with several pieces of 

colored chalk is brought forward. A color is chosen, the glass put back and a deck of cards is then produced. It is 
cut in half and the halves fanned before the spectators. A card is selected mentally from each half and their 
names are whispered to the performer. 

A spectator advances to the table and throws two dice. They are covered with a cup where they fall. Six half- 
dollars are borrowed, carried to the table by a spectator and placed in a stack with dates down. The performer's 
watch is then set at any hour and minute and placed face down with the rest of the articles. A matchbox, or 
cigarette case, is borrowed and the number of its contents is noted. It is placed on the table. 

The performer now gives a resume of what has happened, and states that to start, he will have to perform a test 
or two with the medium in order that she will become ’attuned.' A trusted person goes after the medium and the 
committee. She is led to the blackboard and given a piece of chalk. The committee surrounds her. The performer 
shows a deck to be well mixed and has one selected, well back in the audience. The selector, himself, asks the 
medium to name it, whereupon she instantly draws its likeness on the blackboard. Borrowing a half-dollar, the 
performer passes it to another who asks the medium for the date and what he has. The medium draws a half 
dollar and dates it correctly. 

From now on the performer says nothing. The medium divines everything that has taken place during her 
absence. When adding numbers on slate, the medium asks a committeeman to hold the glass of colored chalks 
near her. She picks out the chosen color and writes the total of the numbers on the back of the slate. She then 
locates and names the five cards chosen at the start, which are displayed with backs out on the board. Finally the 
person with the envelopes in the hat is asked to step forward and stand at the medium's left. With chalk in right 
hand she reaches into the hat, withdraws an envelope and throws it aside. This is repeated several times until 
finally she grows tense and instantly writes a name on the blackboard. The committee opens the envelope and 
the writer acknowledges it as the dead name. This makes a perfect climax to the act. 

Explanation: The pack you bring down to the audience is really composed of but 50 cards. The last 25 are 
arranged in the same order as the first 25 and are duplicates. Wherever the pack is cut, the same 25 cards will be 
dealt off. You place the balance of the cards in your pocket to get them out of the way. On the tray is spread a 
napkin. It is folded so that its center forms a flap that will just reach either side of the tray (Fig. 1). Under this 
flap lies a packet of 20 (different from any of the first 25) cards. You walk up the aisle and have five cards 
chosen from the "25 packet" which lies face down on the side of the tray not covered with the flap. 

When the five cards have been drawn, you turn to go back to the front. As you do so, you turn over, or reverse 
the napkin flap, covering the exposed cards and revealing the other twenty. The spectators then return their cards 
to this heap. While they do so, you return to the platform and hand the tray to your assistant who, at the same 
time, hands you envelopes and pencils. The pencils you immediately place in your outer breast pocket. 
Unsuspected by the audience, UNDER the stack of envelopes, face up, is a packet of cards, duplicates of the "25 
packet" from which spectators' cards were drawn, and arranged in some simple order known to your assistant. 
Hold the envelopes low so as to conceal the cards and distribute about three envelopes, together with pencils. At 
this point in the distribution you arrive at the person who has shuffled the 25 cards. Hand him an envelope, take 
the cards from him and carelessly place them upon the heap of envelopes which you turn over as you cross the 
aisle. Nonchalantly hand the arranged packet of cards, now on top of the envelopes, to a person and tell him to 
take them to the stage and spread them out in five rows on the board. 

Meanwhile the left hand holding the envelopes goes to side pocket and leaves the cards. You have now 
distributed four envelopes without intimating your purpose. Hand out another making five. The next envelope, 
the sixth, you open and extract from it a slip of paper. Placing this on the plain side of envelope (so spectator will 
unconsciously use envelope for a "pad") you hand it to an obliging person together with a hard pencil. "Will each 
of you who have an envelope please open it and use the slip of paper inside on which to write the name of some 
living person, with the exception of you, sir (this to person to whom you handed sixth envelope), you will please 
write the name of a deceased person. Let no one see what you write." 

The sixth envelope is prepared by cutting out the address side of another envelope together with the flap. It is 
pasted by the corners to a good piece of carbon paper (carbon side down). The flap of another envelope is 
moistened and this prepared front slipped inside, the flaps laying coincident and stuck together. It seems entirely 
unprepared, but anything written on the slip of paper held against its address side will be transferred to the inside 
envelope front by the carbon. 

When all have written the names, you address them, "I want the slips folded like this. Let me see — Oh yes, let 
me have your envelope a minute please, no, keep the paper. I don't want to see the paper or the name you have 
written on it." You take the envelope from the party who has written the dead name, and remove a second slip of 
paper previously placed there purposely. "I want you to fold the paper like this," you direct. You naturally lay the 
prepared envelope on top of the stack and place the entire stack under the arm. You now show how to fold the 
paper, and then take the stack from under your arm, but reverse side up! The prepared envelope is now on the 
bottom of the stack, and the former bottom envelope on top is unprepared except that beforehand you have 
pressed a needle point into each of its comers. No matter what corner is grasped by the medium, she'll know the 
dead envelope. This envelope you hand the person in which to seal the dead name. 

Everyone is now directed to seal their envelopes and someone asked to collect them in a hat, which he is to hold 
until later. You gather up the pencils and return to the front, handing them, together with the unused envelopes to 
your assistant who carries them off and returns a moment later with a handkerchief. The medium is then 
blindfolded (but still can see under the handkerchief) and a committee leads her to another room. 

The assistant has employed her time well. When she first carried off the tray, she lifted the napkin flap and 
learned what cards were missing from the 25 by comparing these with the 20 left, using a list. As she knows the 
order of the 25 cards now on the cleats of the board, she either memorizes the names or the positions of each 
card chosen. When you handed her the stack of envelopes and pencils, she seized the chance to open the faked 
envelope and learn the name of the dead person whose name was written on the sixth slip. 

You now bring down into the audience the slate and chalk. On the slate someone writes a number of three 
figures. You read the figures as you hand the slate to a second person a few seats removed. When you pass the 
slate from the second person to the third, you add the first person's number to that of the second and keep the 
total in your head. As you hand the slate to a fourth person for his initials, you add in the last person's number. 
This adding of three digit numbers is extremely easy, or if you prefer do it with two figure numbers. Return to 
the platform with the slate and confirm your total as you do so. Place the slate and chalk on the table and 
immediately bring forward the tumbler containing the six pieces of colored chalk. 

"But," you ask, "how are you going to get the slate total to the medium." YOU HAVE ALREADY DONE SO. 
Before going further, it may be well to explain the principle employed, and in detail. 

The information for the next few tests as well as this one depends upon HOW and WHERE you place the 
various articles on the table. But don't be disgusted and say that would be "raw". It will, if you stand with the 
article in your hand and figure around as to where and how you should place it. But, if you do your figuring on 
your way back to the table and nonchalantly place the article down, at the same time picking up another article 
for the next test or asking for the loan of an article for the next test, and keeping your eyes anywhere but on your 
hands, it will never be suspected. And I know from practical experience. The tests following are the finest I 
know for impromptu demonstrations. Any square or oblong table may be used, about two by three feet being a 
most practical size. Fig. 2 represents the table top. It is well, at first, to practice with a diagrammed piece of 
paper just covering the table. Fig. 2 shows the scheme. 


When asked, pretend 
to think of a tune, but 
whatever is played, say 
"That’s it." Thanks for 
cooperating. Please don’t 
tell anybody how we 
did it! 

There arc 30 squares, each row of 5 numbered vertically, and if you wish to convey initials, etc., they are lettered 
in the same manner. Also 1-13 and 16-28 represent the 13 denominations of playing cards. The top row 
horizontally represents colors, numbers, etc., and when this is all laid out practice setting things naturally on the 
proper numbers and colors. Then remove the diagram and practice the same thing with the bare table top. The 
medium's reading of the signals set is simplicity itself, as she stands at the blackboard and can look down 
sidewise at the table from under her blindfold. What takes practice in this act is naturalness (without stalling or 
straining) in placing the various articles in position. 

However, many of the signals do not depend upon placing, and the mixing up of these tests is 
what makes the method so misdirecting. The slate is ordinary but one comer on the side that 
will be up is marked so as to be readily recognized. The slate is mentally divided into ten 
parts, each signifying a digit as shown in Fig. 3. X is the marked comer. The total of the three 3- 
digit numbers cannot possibly be over 3,000 so the first two figures of the answer can be indicated by some one 
square on the table top. The first two figures of the sum are therefore communicated to the medium by placing 
the marked corner of the slate on the proper imaginary square. The chalk should be tapering but short. The third 
digit of the answer should be indicated by placing the chalk on the slate, so it lays in the proper imaginary square 
number. The last figure of the number is shown by considering the chalk (small) end as a clock hand (Fig. 4), 
and having it point to the proper number. This imaginary clock dial is square with the table, and the position of 
the slate on the table has nothing to do with it. The procedure is to figure the thing out on your way to the table 
and, with your left hand, place the slate on the proper spot. The right hand, a second later, lays the chalk on the 
slate in the proper square and pointing in the right direction. It would be best to have one side of the chalk flat so 
that it cannot roll accidentally. 

At the same time the right hand does this, the left hand should be picking up the tumbler of colored chalk. The 
color is selected and indicated by placing the tumbler, as carelessly as possible, on the correct color square, and 
picking up the pack of cards with free hand at the same time. The pack is cut in half and one card in each half 
pointed out to you. Advance to the table and place the halves, one in each hand, face down in their proper 
squares. Suits are indicated by their positions as per Fig. 5. 

A spectator advances to the table and throws a pair of dice. You cover them with a cup where they fall. The 
handle on the cup is placed clock fashion to tell the total thrown. If using a dice cup, a mark has been placed on 
the edge of the bottom which is used as an indicator the same way. The medium should note if the number 
thrown is 2-3-11-12. In these cases she can apparently read the dice singly, saying, "Two Aces, An Ace and a 
Deuce, Two Sixes, or a Six and a Five." 

In the left hand trouser pocket you have a stack of six half-dollars, dates facing one way and their order 
memorized by the medium. They will remain stacked well. Don’t announce that dates are to be read. Borrow six 
half-dollars from as many spectators, with the right hand. The left hand, which carelessly has been in left pocket 
comes forth with the coins. Apparently transfer the coins from the right hand to the left, immediately handing the 
stacked coins in your left hand to someone to place on the table. The right hand disposes of its coins in your left 

vest pocket as it removes the watch, which should not be running. The spectator sets it at any hour and minute, 
showing it to you. You put it on the table with the stem indicating the hour (Fig. 6) and the square in which 
watch goes tells the minute. If under 30 minutes, bow is turned UNDER as in Fig. 7. If watch is set 48 minutes 
after the hour, turn bow up and place on square 18. Medium knows by bow that she must add 30 min. to 18. 

The number of matches or cigarettes in a box or case can be indicated by the square on which you place the 
container. With a little practice, a match box can be tossed to the proper square. At the very start, when the 
medium returns and you present the card and coin tests to "attune" yourselves, a single card is forced, and the 
borrowed coin is switched for one of known date and value in passing it to a person across the aisle. 



The following original idea by Ralph Read will be of inestimable value to many performers. 

Having stolen, or otherwise secured original written questions, or duplicates thereof, this new method of 
tabulating them for secret reference later is one of the cleverest means yet devised for the mentalist. It is so 
innocent looking and so easy to handle that no suspicion can possibly be aroused. 

You have backstage a writing tablet about 8" by 10", the ordinary kind with a gray cardboard back and a flexible 
cover which is hinged at the top. The stolen questions are copied in abbreviated form on the outside of the 
cardboard back two or three questions on each line. The questions to be answered first are on the bottom line, 
and others on the lines above. 

Write the bottom line about one -half inch above the bottom edge of the cardboard. The exact distance is 
determined by opening the front cover and folding it clear over so it rests flat against the cardboard back. In this 
position, the cover won't reach clear to the bottom, so you write the bottom line of questions so as to be 
concealed underneath the bottom edge of cover. Thus all the writing is concealed when the cover is folded over 
against the back. 

When questions are copied, cover is closed on front of pad and, together with a thick black marking pencil, is 
placed on a stand to be seen on the stage when act is opened. After opening talk you dump collected questions on 
stage, pick up crayon and tablet, open and turn back cover as you sit down in a chair. Explain that concentration 
is necessary and you use tablet to inscribe impressions. Having memorized one question (not on pad) you hold 
tablet on left arm and in full view scribble with crayon while talking something like this — 

"I get a jumble of letters ... a 'B' (make a small B) ... no, it's not a B, it's an R (make a bold R) ... and now an L ... 
yes, it’s an L (make a large L below the R) ... and now I see an A (make an A below the L) ... but the A seems to 
be in the wrong place... it should come first. Now I see something crooked, snake-like (make a large S) ... and 
there is something supporting it (make S into a $) ... is A. L. R. here? ... yes, I see you ... do you recognize this 
mark here?" You hold up tablet in left hand, fingers on front and thumb on back near bottom edge of cover (the 
cover now being towards you, of course). 

A slight upward pressure of left thumb, and the cover slides up enough so you can see bottom line of tabulated 
questions. Secretly read and remember one or more of them. A second is all you need. A. L. R. acknowledges 
the $ sign and you continue... "it looks like a good sign for it means money for you ... you want the better things 
in life you haven't had before, in fact you'd like to be rich, etc., etc." 

You tear off the A. L. R. "impression sheet" and throw it aside, proceeding with the next 
question — the one you have just noted on the back. With each question you will find some 
article, or dramatic element, that you can illustrate on the sheet with crayon. Even if your 
drawing ability is poor and the picture crude, the spectator will readily see the connection, if A 
totally unknown pianist is asked to sit at the piano and is given a list of the songs beforehand, but no cue list is 
necessary. She is told to play any one of the ten she pleases when the time comes. 

Again you have a dozen or so tune lists, plus three additional cards which bear the wording as shown in the 
following illustration. You are careful to remember to whom these three cards are given. Try to pick people 
where others nearby won't have an opportunity to read the cards also. If crowded, give the cards out in three's, 
that is, to three persons sitting together. The first person gets a song list, the second gets the special card, and the 
third gets another song list. Thus, the two on the outside will be looking over their lists while the center man can 
read his card unobserved. 

The rest of the procedure is obvious. Go to one of the three persons, apparently at random, and taking the card 
from him ask if he has chosen one of the listed songs. Ask him to concentrate upon the tune. The pianist starts 
playing and the spectator admits "That's it." This is repeated with the persons holding the other two fake lists. 

Many of my readers will shed bitter tears over the thought of such barefaced "cheating," but I'm certainly far 
from the first to use this impromptu confederate gag. (See Annemann's Impromptu Frame-Ups, page 97.) When 
297 people, including the pianist, out of 300 are completely baffled, why worry? You'll be lucky if your other 
effects score as well ! 

not the exact likeness, and that is sufficient excuse for your going ahead with the answer. For questions about 
marriage draw a heart or hearts; about trips draw a train, boat or auto; about babies, draw a nursing bottle. 

Using a tablet in this manner offers many advantages apart from its simplicity and ease in handling. All of your 
written "impressions" may be freely shown or examined; they are bold enough so all can sec them, and this 
maintains a dramatic interest on the part of the entire audience. When putting your "impressions" on pad, the top 
hinged end is downwards, the "impressions" are written in full view right side up to you, but upside down to the 
audience, until you later turn tablet around and hold it up for identification — a perfect excuse for thus turning it 
around for them to see and read. 

With three questions per line, and eight or ten lines, you will have 24 to 30 questions, enough for most acts. In 
other words, you use only about 3 or 4 inches at the bottom of cardboard for copying. With a tablet in hand you 
will quickly discover how easy it is to slide cover upwards enough to bring uppermost lines into view. The cover 
then slides back the instant you have glimpsed line, and everything is again hidden from view. Use a new tablet 
for each performance. 



This is an explanation of a principle which, for several years, has served me well. Mrs. Thompson and I have 
used it to fool large audiences as well as small groups of friends. Everyone has been taken in by it. Close 
acquaintances have seen us perform on more than one occasion and still are not near a solution. The principle 
has been tested time and again, for it has been the first method of transmission to stand up under practically 
every condition to which a pair of mindreaders is subject. It's to the credit of a device that it is simple, and in that 
lies a baffling quality. There are few purely magical effects using as little apparatus and needing so little practice 
as the device offered here. 

A two person mental act seems always to find favor with audiences, especially those of the intimate home and 
club type. It is difficult for people to solve such work for the reason that most people think along magical lines of 
manual trickery, aided by numerous exposures, and because there are very few double mental acts in comparison 
to magic acts. 

While magic has continually made strides by making use of principles unknown but a decade before, mental acts 
have stagnated and the mentalists themselves have kept to outworn and laboriously learned systems. One look at 
a system, by a neophyte with sincere intentions, is enough to discourage him. 

I was dissatisfied. Dissatisfaction bred revolution. And that, plus a minor rebellion on the part of my wife, 
caused me to delve for an almost non-study, natural, and practical (even if time has elapsed since the last show) 
method of transmission. 

The Principle: Briefly stated, the means of signalling is a flashlight bulb attached to the rear of the vest, under 
the coat, and connected with a combination battery holder and switch in the trouser pocket. 

Construction: At a 5 and 10 cent store purchase a single battery metal pencil type flashlight with a spring 
bottom switch at one end. Also purchase twenty inches of flexible (tinsel cord, preferably), and an old flashlight 
bulb, a radio panel light socket stripped to the bare necessities, and a safety pin. See your nearest electrical 
supply store for these. 

One end of the tinsel cord is split and the two wires are soldered to the panel light socket — one to the side, the 
other to the bottom. The safety pin also is soldered to the side of the socket and a bit of tire tape wrapped around 
to hold all connections secure. The bulb is removed from the flashlight and screwed into the panel socket. The 
glass top is broken from the old bulb and everything removed from inside. The other end of the tinsel cord is 
split. The insulation is stripped back just enough to make a connection — one wire being soldered to the inside of 
the base and the other to the terminal connection at the bottom of the base. Keeping the two wires apart the bulb 
case is filled with hot sealing wax and allowed to harden. Then the base is screwed into the flashlight case from 
which the good bulb was removed to be placed into the panel socket. With a 11/2-volt battery in the case, 
pressure upon the spring switch will cause panel bulb to light. Release of pressure extinguishes the light at the 
end of the tinsel cord. 

By means of the safety pin, the socket is fastened, bulb up, near the lower edge of your vest about six inches 
above the rear trouser pocket opening. The case is passed through the belt strap into either side trouser pocket. I 
use the left for no particular reason except that it leaves my right hand free. 

To eliminate absolutely any visible movement in the pocket while operating the switch, close your entire hand 
around the case and press your fist, thus formed, firmly against your leg. Your thumb operates the button by 
alternately pressing and releasing. The apparatus can be worn from morning until night without difficulty. The 
accompanying sketch shows the entire outfit. 

With coat on, and with back towards the medium, you silently signal, by short and long flashes which are clearly 
visible through the cloth. No one, however, but the medium is directly behind you to see the code flashes. This 
holds true even should both of you, and the audience, be in total darkness. 

The Code: Almost everything am be broken down to numbers, and in this case a short flash equals 1 and a long 
flash 5. Using these two signals any digit can be transmitted to take care of license numbers, telephone, bill, 
street, social security numerals, birth dates, coin and paper money denominations, addition totals, etc. The reader 
must remember that we are not attempting to duplicate the intricate acts of article defining with their speed of 

accomplishment despite the outmoded methods invariably used. We offer a neat, clean-cut, and practical method 
of doing impossible seeming stunts at a moment's notice without a lifetime of labor to learn. 

The Setting: The medium is best at one end of the room while you station yourself at a distance with the 
spectators before your table. At home parties you can seat the lady at an advantageous spot according to 
conditions, and approach the seated people about the room, stepping back a little for the denouement. As the 
device gives off no reflection or glow other than a 

<-flash-light bulb 






TO terminal connection 





single spot of light at a place where the medium is looking for it, you have more freedom of movement than you 
would suppose. It isn't good policy for the medium to look continuously at your back. She can rest her head upon 
her hand and peer quite easily between her fingers. We'll discuss the blindfold angles later. 

The size of the audience has not, so far, altered the effectiveness of the routine for us. It was evolved for home 
gatherings, but we have had excellent results before a group of 400 persons. 

What Can Be Accomplished: A volunteer assistant sits at a table with his back to the medium. The performer 
stands to the left and slightly to the rear, cutting off the medium's view of the table. Emphasis should be placed 
on the fact that the assistant always asks all the questions and that you, for once, propose to remain silent. 


If the assistant is requested to empty his pockets and wallet onto the table, much material will be found suitable 
for transmission. Have a memorized list of ten or twenty common pocket articles. Immediately you can pick up 
one article and another, sending the list number of the first while the subject still is getting out the stuff. If you 
prefer, another good general test is to have the spectator write down, at your direction, miscellaneous personal 
data, such as mentioned under The Code paragraph. 

A very convincing book test can be presented by having a spectator read silently a passage from one of several 
books available. The assistant closes the book and takes ALL of them to the medium who picks out the right one, 
finds the page, and reads back the passage. The performer stands at ease and in silence while this is carried out, 
but he has signalled the number of the book, the page number, and the paragraph or line number, having had 
ample time to do it. 

Professor J. B. Rhine's (Duke University) prize psychology and "extrasensory perception" students can be 
outdone by handing a deck of ESP cards out for mixing, while you relate what has been done and the results 
obtained. Your subject lays the cards before him, turns one up at a time and concentrates, and then taps upon the 
table as a signal. (See illustration.) The medium names the design correctly! At the same time he turns the card 
so the audience can see it. As Rhine star apostles of ESP don't get as many as 9 out of 25 on an average, it's quite 
effective when your medium gets 25 out of 25, although we would suggest you jiggle the switch enough to keep 
her down to about 19. You merely know the five cards by number. The circle (1) is made with one line; the cross 
(2) uses two lines; the wavy lines (3) are three in number; the square (4) has four lines; and the star (5) has five 

As for playing cards, both of you remember the four suits in a certain order, knowing them as 1, 2, 3 and 4. A 
short signal is given over and over to signify each suit until the correct one is reached. Then, following a short 
pause, the value is transmitted; a Queen, for instance, being sent with two "longs" and two "shorts." If 
performing where it is possible for the spectators either to sit or congregate around the table, you should have the 
medium do more than just name a card or two. Try this effective routine: 

Ask a spectator to shuffle the deck, remove any number of cards, say 10, and lay them in a face up row. Then ask 
for questions from various people in regards to the layout. By using two "shorts" for "No" and three "shorts" for 
"Yes" in addition to the regular system, all information can be sent in regards to positions of cards, their 
relationships with others in the row, and names. As a clincher test spread the deck face up and station someone at 
the light switch with instructions to plunge the room into darkness as soon as he hears another 

spectator select a card by thumping it heavily with his forefinger. There is no opportunity to signal between time 
of selection and the time room is darkened. Yet a moment or two after the lights are out the medium names the 
chosen card. 

A more elaborate, but very convincing test of either telepathy or clairvoyance, is to have a bunch of cards laid 
out as before, whereupon the medium begins to speak immediately, something like this: — 

"Before you ask me questions I have a few things to tell you. Looking in a general way at the mental picture of 
cards that you have formed, I see that there are nine cards on the table. Of these, there are six with spots and 
three face cards. Insofar as suits are concerned, that is. Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts and Spades, I perceive that all 
of them are represented. I see also that there are three Clubs, two Diamonds, three Hearts and one Spade. To be 
specific the Clubs are the two, seven and Jack; the Diamonds are the ten and Queen; the Hearts are the Ace, nine 
and King, and the Spade is the eight. That is all I can immediately visualise, no, wait a minute. There is another 
card I have missed — its very faint, but I am sure it is the Seven of Diamonds." An examination of the face card 
of the pack shows it to be that card. 

Analysis: As quickly as possible count the number of cards laid out and code it at once. The medium has 
memorized the order in which the various items will be "sent," so she knows automatically what each signal 
represents. Having received the first item she starts talking as outlined. Meanwhile count the face cards and code 

this number. Simple subtraction in her mind allows her to continue with more information. Now note which suits 
are represented and wait until medium says — "Insofar as the suits are concerned, that is Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts 
and Spades" — As each is mentioned, if there are any, flash a short signal so that medium is almost immediately 
able to name all of the suits represented. Mrs. Thompson assigns the name of a suit to each of her four right 
fingers and bends the "suits" into her palm as signalled. Next is sent how many of each suit there are, using a set 
order of suit rotation. It is simple to remember the information received as 4012, or, as in the example given here 
3231. In sending the values always keep to the same suit order and start with the lowest value. For the second 
card, signal a number which, if added to the first value already sent, equals the value of the second, etc., for all of 
the cards. As the medium knows from her bent fingers the suits, and from the total remembered exactly how 
many there are of each suit, she knows which is the last of each suit and. therefore, when to start on the next suit. 

When cards are first withdrawn from the pack and laid on the table, contrive to see the face card of the deck 
before same is put aside. Its suit and value are signalled last after the medium has taken care of the cards on the 

Thus the outline to be followed by both performer and medium is (1) No. of cards; (2) No. of face cards; (3) No. 
of suits represented; (4) No. of cards in each suit; (5) Value of cards in each suit; (6) Final card on face of deck. 
In this routine it must be remembered that the medium is trying to create the impression of genuine mindreading 
and not show how fast she can reveal the facts. 

Letters and Words: Recently I have been attempting to perfect a system for sending alphabet letters. Those 
familiar with the Morse cords are set. Those who are not probably will not want to devote the necessary time to 
it. At least I didn't and therefore developed the following: 

Since there are but two signals available, allow a short flash, or dot, to equal a straight line, 
and a long flash, or dash, to equal a curve. An examination of the capital letters of the 
alphabet will show that each is made up of a combination of straight lines and curves. In 
coding, send just what you see, starting either at the left or at the top of the letter depending 
upon its construction. It is not necessary to learn any code. For instance, if the letter is B, you 
will see at the left a straight line, hence signal a dot. Next, two curves (a curve is always 
considered a semi-circle) are transmitted. An 0 would be two dashes, a G a dash and dot, et cetera. The complete 
code looks like this: 


T, L, V, X 

A, F, N. H, Y, K, Z 

E, M, W 


R, U 



o, s 

The flashing is comparatively simple. A glance at the complete code, however, shows that the chief difficulty 
arises in the receiving. The medium need not necessarily memorize the code for it may be on a card in her hand. 
How is she to know which letter is being sent when more than one is in the group coded? In each case where 

there are more than one, the letter most likely to appear is given first and the others follow in order of probability 
of appearance. Where there are only two the medium names the first in a hesitant manner. If she is correct, signal 
a dot, whereupon she becomes positive. If not correct, there is no signal and the medium switches to the other 
letter in a positive manner. In the EMW group she starts with an E. If wrong she says, "No, it seems to be turned 

the wrong way. Perhaps it is an M ," or "Yes, I see now, it is a W." You, of course, signal a dot at the right 

point. That leaves two groups in which difficulty might be experienced, namely TLVX and AFNHYKZ. Here 
the medium can state that she sees many letters, none of which are very clear, and then proceeds to name all in 
the group one by one until she receives your signal. Or, during her talk of cloudiness, you may send a few dots to 
denote which of the letters in the series is the one. Then her vision clears. It must be realized that a lot depends 
upon common sense when coding a word. There are many letters which couldn't possibly follow others, and 
experience plus acuteness will make things much easier than they read. 

Questions: By employing a principle outlined by Larsen and Wright in their mss. "Mental and Spirit Mysteries," 
it is possible to transmit the gist of a question which some spectator either writes upon a blackboard for all to 
see, or whispers to the performer. Messrs. Larsen and Wright nicely classified all possible subjects upon which 
questions can be asked, as follows: — 

(1) Business; (2) Love; (3) Health; (4) Journies; (5) Lost and Found Articles; (6) News (Will I hear from my 
brother? Will the parcel-post arrive? etc.); (7) Conflict (Can I trust my partner? Will the quarrel be patched up? 
etc); (8) Success (Will I succeed? etc.); (9) Politics (Who 

(Note by Annemann: I think the principle of dot-dashing as applied to the groups and requiring no practice or 
memory for the sender Is very clever and worthy of being studied. As It stands It Is excellent for initials, and, 
while some may consider It just as well in the long pull to send figures from 1 to 26 to designate letters, we think 
an advantage to many will be that the assistant-medium-wife-sweetheart won't have to study long and bard. The 
ingenious grouping of letters with simple signals offers untold possibilities.) 

will be elected? etc.); (10) Crime; (11) Children (Will it be a girl or boy? etc.) (12) Miscellaneous. 

To be brief, the performer quickly classifies the spectator's question and sends the number. This mechanical end 
of the test is simple enough, but it is the medium, here, who carries the burden. She must be quick witted, 
possess a vivid imagination, and be fluent of speech. She must be able to say a great deal about nothing and 
convince the spectator that she is actually answering his individual query. 

For instance: Having received signal No. 1, she might speak as follows: "I see a matter concerning you which is 
about to come up in the near future. In some manner it seems to be concerned with papers and signatures. You 
may rest assured that the outcome will be for the best, though it will not be exactly what you may expect at the 
present moment, for I see the future as very bright." One can give a surprisingly detailed reading by hazarding a 
few guesses and following up any correct surmises. As soon as she makes a mistake, signal a short flash, 
whereupon she corrects her statement. Frequently you can signal two groups, the combination of which will 
paint a clear picture. 

Questions written that do no classify with your list are signalled No. 12 and it means "Go slow." Such questions 
can be skirted if the medium says, "I'm sorry, sir, but it seems to me inadvisable to answer that question in public 
at this time." 

An easy query can be forced if you handle it by addressing a spectator: "What are you most interested in at the 
moment — some matter of business, or affairs of the heart, or a matter of health?" You'll be surprised how a 
person will pick up one of these suggested lines. 

Additional Suggestions: In many of the tests suggested, if performed before a sizeable group seated some 
distance from the table, a great deal of the effectiveness may be lost by people not seeing what is going on. In the 
case of cards I use a plain, unvarnished, folding (fits into a brief-case), wooden stand with two ledges on which 
the spectator places Giant cards as shown in the illustration. The two black lines are made by cloth tape and form 
two pockets thus enabling use of smaller cards numbered from 1 through 9. (See illustration.) A spectator thus 
can arrange the cards in horizontal rows and the medium names any one pointed to, finally giving the total of the 
vertical columns for type of blindfold to use, see par. I, page 229. 



A very cute musical thought transmission effect was contained in the book "Sh-h-h. It's a Secret!" I've played 
with it off and on since its appearance, and it has been satisfactory because one man can use a strange pianist 
practically impromptu. 

During this time I have added a few details which, to my way of thinking, simplify things a bit and possibly add 
to the effect. I save time on the presentation by using lists of songs prepared in advance, and this is made 

possible due to the fact that The Billboard (theatrical trade weekly). Variety (same), and other similar 
publications publish a list of the ten top-ranking songs of the week. A dozen or so small typed lists are made. 
Early in the evening give the pianist one of these lists, and also the following "key" list, see illustration, 
explaining to the pianist that the first word of whatever you say immediately after you ask somebody to think of 
a song will be the cue to the proper song on the list. 

1 Name 

2 Tell 

3 Please 

4 Think 

5 Keep 

6 Ask 

7 Say 

8 Don’t 

9 Try 
10 Make 

In presenting, explain that you have the ten top-ranking songs of the week, in the order of their popularity, as 
judged by national polls, listed upon a number of cards. Then pass out all but two or three of the cards to 
convenient spectators. 

And here is the second time you've simplified things, for you retain two or three cards and the uppermost of 
these contains not the list of songs, but the list of code words. A glance at this, if and when necessary, will 
arouse no suspicion. 

Someone holding a list is approached and asked to point to one of the titles and think of that melody. 
Immediately it is coded to the pianist who hears the first word of the sentence and knows what to play. If, for 
instance, the fifth title were touched, the performer would say, "Keep concentrating on that tune, and perhaps 
Miss will catch your thought vibrations." 

The pianist notes that "keep" is the fifth word on the key list, and therefore plays the fifth hit tune. 

The use of the tunes of the Hit Parade gives a LOGICAL reason for a list prepared in advance. The next detail is 
one that might be used to climax this routine, or it can be used as a separate item by itself. Often I use it for 
groups where, previously, I have already used the regular telepathy act as described.